Eric Spofford: A Sex Offender? (2024)

lawsuits

Former Granite Recovery Center owner Eric Spofford sued New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR), its news director, and two reporters for unfairly slandering him. The Rockingham Superior Court case says NHPR’s coverage damaged Spofford’s reputation. His legal team claims no law enforcement agency other than NHPR has accused him of sexual assault.

Spofford wants compensation for mental hardship, embarrassment, humiliation, and pain and suffering, but the lawsuit does not specify a monetary figure. Spofford, the creator of Granite Recovery Centers, which BayMark Health bought about a year ago, wants to reclaim his reputation.

NHPR says senior reporters Lauren Chooljian and Jason Moon investigated for a year before reporting in March 2022. This lawsuit targets these journalists and news director Dan Barrick. NHPR has pledged to uphold its journalistic integrity and report accurately.

Spofford’s legal team has criticized NHPR’s headline and anonymous sources. NHPR contacted one alleged victim who feared reprisal if her identity was known and claimed Spofford sent her graphic messages after leaving one of his treatment programs in 2017. Another alleged victim, “Employee A,” was named, while “Employee B,” had her tale told by three additional employees.

Over a dozen former Granite Recovery Center employees told NHPR they knew about Spofford’s alleged mistreatment of women for years. The writers also questioned over 50 former customers, present and past staff, and New Hampshire’s recovery community.

Old buddy and recovery sponsor Piers Kaniuka, former Granite Recovery Center spiritual life director, plays a key role in the reporting. Kaniuka says Eric Spofford should be shunned and prosecuted. The lawsuit claims Kaniuka reversed his statement after publication, calling it false and lacking personal knowledge.

Spofford claims NHPR’s reportage has tarnished his substance use disorder rehabilitation reputation. According to him, banks have refused to work with him, vendors have ended their connections with his investment company, and New Hampshire lawmakers have strained relations. His public struggles with addiction, recovery, and founding of New Hampshire’s largest addiction treatment network during the opioid crisis earned him an invitation to testify before a U.S. Senate committee on the epidemic.

Eric Spofford Controversies: Lewd Photos, Sex Assault

(Source)

NHACLU and a coalition of journalistic organizations are supporting New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) in the legal dispute started by Granite Recovery founder Eric Spofford. In response to Spofford’s defamation case, the ACLU, New England First Amendment Coalition, and many local newspapers filed amicus briefs supporting NHPR. This backing comes amid court records questioning NHPR’s evidence.

Spofford’s case against NHPR alleges sexual harassment at his addiction recovery centers. Recently revealed information suggests that NHPR reporter Lauren Chooljian may not have seen the alleged sexual photo Spofford sent before reporting on it.

The ACLU and other media outlets have supported NHPR, although their activities have garnered little media publicity. Even the PR-savvy ACLU didn’t post a news release on its website.

The ACLU’s amicus petition corresponded with Spofford’s legal team’s doubts about NHPR’s reporting, particularly its sources. Spofford’s attorney, Michael Strauss, expressed questions in court about Chooljian’s ex-partner Amy Anagnost, who may have had ulterior intentions.

Strauss speculated that Anagnost defamed Spofford to gain an edge in family court hearings over joint custody. NHPR denies using Anagnost as a source.

Last year, politically connected Granite Recovery Centers shareholder Spofford sold the centers to BayMark Health Services for an undisclosed fee. Spofford advised Governor Chris Sununu on opioid policy during his term.

Eric Spofford and the Scandal Around Granite Recovery Centers: 

Eric Spofford has become a major player in New Hampshire after becoming known as the man behind Granite Recovery Centers. He had built a personal brand with more than a million followers on social media, thanks to his renowned testimony before Congress and advising position to Governor Chris Sununu on the opioid crisis. Narratively, he touched on his battles with substance misuse in the past.

His history of drug misuse was an integral part of his story.

Reporter Ms. Chooljian began covering Mr. Spofford’s actions in 2020 for NHPR while she looked into a COVID-19 outbreak at one of the Granite Recovery sites.

At this period, information regarding possible sexual abuse claims against Mr. Spofford was leaked. Ms. Chooljian interviewed many Granite Recovery staff, patients, and previous patients over the next fifteen months. (Mr. Spofford’s business was sold for around $115 million in late 2021.)

The results were submitted to Mr. Spofford by Ms. Chooljian in February 2022. Mitchell Schuster, who was representing him at the time, strongly disputed that his client had committed any wrongdoing. Reaching out to Daniel Barrick, who was Ms. Chooljian’s editor, Mr. Schuster lodged accusations of “disingenuous reporting and malicious conduct” against the blogger.

The investigation that Mr. Spofford is suing for libel was released by NHPR on March 22. In the report, a former patient of Granite Recovery detailed inappropriate chat messages sent by Mr. Spofford, who was later accused of sexual assault by another employee. Piers Kaniuka, who had been the director of spiritual life at Granite Recovery, revealed that he had resigned in 2020 in response to an employee’s accusation of sexual assault by Mr. Spofford.

The legal team representing Mr. Spofford notified everyone who had been interviewed by Ms. Chooljian of an imminent lawsuit the day following the exposé’s release, advising them to keep all pertinent written correspondence and documents.

Ms. Chooljian and her husband got disturbing news on April 24, a few weeks later, while they were in Colorado. Someone had sprayed an obscene word across their garage door in red paint and thrown a rock through her parents’ glass, according to a text message from Ms. Chooljian’s mom.

Ms. Chooljian was so disturbed by what happened that she reached out to Mr. Barrick, her editor, who had just gotten a call from the lawyer representing Mr. Spofford. Even Mr. Barrick’s house had been spray-painted with the same derogatory term, which came as a shock to her.

Ms. Chooljian learned the next day that her former home and her husband’s residence had both been broken into.

Following these disturbing developments, Ms. Chooljian’s parents voiced their worries and asked that she and Mr. Barrick reevaluate their probe into Mr. Spofford. The decision her daughter was making may not have been the wisest one, her father Barry Chooljian thought to himself. 

Right now, where is Eric Spofford? 

In 2008, Granite Recovery Centers was founded in Salem by Eric Spofford, who started this project just two years after his opioid addiction recovery. His journey began in a small sober living facility in Derry, where he shared housing with eleven other people.

In a small Derry sober living home, he lived with eleven other people at the beginning of his journey.

After thirteen years, Eric Spofford sold Granite Recovery Centers, the business he had founded and developed, and decided to split ways with it. After managing and developing Granite Recovery Centers for 13 years, Eric Spofford sold the business and decided to split ways with it.

Along with this big shift, Spofford is also focusing on starting a new company called “Premier Transportation Group.” Located in southern New Hampshire, this creative company wants to offer cars and training services specifically designed for Uber drivers. With operations set to begin in January, Spofford recently purchased the first car in this expanding fleet. 

Conclusion

In his lawsuit against the NHPR, Eric Spofford disputes any sexual assault claims and says that their reportage resulted in character assassination. He seeks recompense for emotional suffering and damage to his reputation. The NHPR intends to defend its reporting. NHPR remains dedicated to its reporting and plans to fight for the integrity of its journalism. 

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