City Councilor John Tabor Apologizes for Email Exchange Related to the McIntyre Project

March 18, 2024

On Monday, March 18, 2024 City Councilor John Tabor apologized to the City Council and the public for the contents of an email he wrote regarding the McIntyre project that came to light during the discovery process in the City’s lawsuit against SoBow Square.

In an email Councilor Tabor sent to Anne Weidman on April 4, 2023, he wrote, “Even though it would seem like mundane and obvious stuff, best to delete all the McIntyre jottings in case of subpoenas.” Anne Weidman is a volunteer on the City’s Economic Development Commission but did not participate in any decisions made by the City during its negotiations with SoBow Square.

This email exchange was identified last week from within over 40,000 pages of discovery documents reviewed by outside counsel over the last several months. New Hampshire law requires that parties to litigation properly preserve all records related to that action. This email was sent a week before the lawsuit was filed.

Councilor Tabor told the City Council that he had sent that email to a friend in the hope that she would not get caught up in the McIntyre litigation. However, Councilor Tabor assured his fellow Councilors and the public that he did not delete any McIntyre email exchanges from his personal email account. Councilor Tabor offered to have his electronic devices forensically examined to confirm that he has not deleted any McIntyre emails. Councilor Tabor stated, “I can’t apologize enough for my lapse of judgment in a misguided attempt to keep this person out of the fray and I am willing to do whatever is necessary to prove that I did not delete any McIntyre emails.”

Mayor Deaglan McEachern said in response, “While we are reassured by John’s representation that he did not delete any emails related to the McIntyre project, we will have a forensic review conducted by a qualified expert of his devices to confirm that no emails were deleted.”

On April 11, 2023 The City of Portsmouth filed suit against SoBow Square, LLC, its Development Partner in the McIntyre Project. The suit, filed in Rockingham County Superior Court, asked the Court to find that the City fully complied with its obligations under the Settlement Agreement, signed in April of 2022, and to find the Developer committed numerous material breaches of that agreement.

Other claims in the suit seek damages for breach of contract and unfair and deceptive business practices. The City claims these actions by the Developer prevented it from filing a timely application to the National Park Service to acquire the Thomas J. McIntyre Federal Building from the General Services Administration (GSA) for one dollar through the National Historic Monument Program.