Richard Sager Calls Bob McWhirter a “Puppy Dog,” Tells Him “Get a Life”

Richard Sager, of Sager & Smith in Ossipee, represented the Tuftonboro board of selectmen in their failed lawsuit against Bob McWhirter and me. The selectmen sued us after we made Right to Know requests, because they thought that they should be able to charge us a fee even though the law states clearly that they cannot. Carroll County Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius ruled on August 8 that the law, which states that “no fee shall be charged,” in fact means that “no fee shall be charged.” Despite this, as of today, the selectmen still have not provided us with any of the emails we requested. Bob made his Right to Know request almost a year ago, on October 17, 2016.

The selectmen have chosen to pay Sager $175 an hour to process the Right to Know requests, even though the town office staff could do it and we already pay their salaries.

Today, instead of providing us with the emails we have a constitutional right to see, Sager instead resorted to calling Bob names, and he also misrepresented the facts about the case. It’s not clear whether he will bill the town $175 an hour for his time composing this Facebook post:

The selectmen’s administrative secretary, Karen Koch, submitted written testimony to the court prior to the hearing that the number of emails responsive to Bob’s Right to Know request was between 740 and 760, not 13,000. My request for emails between Tuftonboro.org email addresses and the Granite State News covered 25 emails, not 13,000. I don’t know how many emails were responsive to my other request for Carolyn Sundquist’s emails between January 1, 2016, and February 29, 2016, because the selectmen never told me.

We did postpone the original hearing. The selectmen tried to push us into court right before Christmas. We had to hire an attorney and prepare a defense. We also both had plans for Christmas with family. Once we hired an attorney, the selectmen suddenly lost their zeal to see us in court. It was the selectmen who repeatedly postponed the hearing from January to June.

Richard Sager should apologize to Bob, and the selectmen should re-evaluate their relationship with him. Not only does he frequently act unprofessionally, but he has now lost several cases for the town in Superior Court.

Published in Board of Selectmen
Max Ledoux

Author: Max Ledoux

I've lived in Tuftonboro since 2014. I grew up in Lisbon Falls, Maine (the Moxie capital of the world). I run tuftonboro.net. If you'd like your own blog here, click the "Get Free Blog" link in the menu at the top of the page. Everyone is welcome to write about anything they like.

21 thoughts on “Richard Sager Calls Bob McWhirter a “Puppy Dog,” Tells Him “Get a Life””

  1. The whole thing is a huge waste of time and money. The selectmen brought the lawsuit which required Bob and Max to file formal response documents with the court. Not many of us are experienced enough with litigation to be able to respond to the court appropriately without hiring an attorney to assist us – which is exactly what Bob and Max did. It is unfortunate that the court did not award them attorney’s fees – if for no other reason than to convince the selectmen that they need to comply with the law. Now the selectmen and Sager appear to be deliberately stalling on fulfilling the request. Why? What are they hiding?

  2. How very unprofessional of Esq Sager not know the facts and statistics of his own lawsuit. How very unprofessional of him to resort to name calling. Maybe that explains the frequent name changes to his law (in)firm. Sager & Sager, Sager, Wunder & Dupree, Sager & Haskell and now Sager & Smith in what, a dozen years. Maybe they got tired of losing cases….

  3. All of you, Bob, Max, Sager and the three selectmen need to sit down and talk about this like adults and stop this nonsense. You ALL need to grow up!

  4. The selectmen are choosing to go about this the most expensive way possible. It’s their decision. They’re making this expensive. They do not have to pay Sager $175 an hour to process these emails. We already pay the town office staff’s salaries. The staff could be doing this at no extra charge. The selectmen are responsible for this waste of money. They decided to spend $20,000 on a lawsuit.

  5. I disagree Max., You and Bob cost us 20K. This could have been resolved back in December of 2016 if not for your counterclaim. You, Max. and Bob are solely responsible for this waste of money, not the Selectmen. Sorry if the truth hurts. I agree with your original request for Carolyn’s emails as I also believe she was doing stuff outside of the other Selectmen. Unfortunately ego’s got in the way of a reasonable solution, on all parts I might add.

  6. The court decided that the s
    Town has to turn over the emails at no charge. The selectmen decided to hire Sager to redact the private information contained in the emails – the metadata that only hackers know how to find or what to do with. To date the selectmen have not established an email policy for the town such that either no redaction would be required or that the town officers and employees would know what and how to redact every time they receive an email. The way things are going now, every time anyone requests to see an email, Sager’s office will be hired to do the redaction. This is ridiculous and is going to cost us taxpayers a lot more money until the selectmen get on top of it. Right at the beginning they should have hired an expert to come in to advise and train everyone on what really has to be redacted so by now there would be a system in place to handle all emails as they come in. This might add 5 minutes of work a day. Instead there is no policy and nothing is done until a request comes in which means the staff has to find the emails requested and send them off to the attorney who then reviews the request and assigns the redaction to someone in his office, then he probably has to review it again before it goes out… Get the picture? The only winner here is Sager.

  7. Rick, our “countersuit” consisted of filing paperwork to the affect of “if we win, we think the selectmen, who sued us, should cover our legal expenses, which we incurred because the selectmen sued us.” That is not the cause of the $20,000 legal bill.

    When Sager says this could have been resolved on December 21, he’s being disingenuous. What he means is that if we had not hired an attorney and had just showed up in court unprepared and accepted the selectmen’s demands, then it would have been resolved. That is an unreasonable assumption. Of course we defended ourselves.

    The selectmen made the decision to spend money on a frivolous lawsuit. They’re responsible for that. Apparently they thought we wouldn’t make any attempt to defend ourselves.

    So, yes, we defended ourselves, as any person who is sued would.

    The selectmen are still responsible for suing us. And it’s slanderous to say that Bob and I are in anyway responsible for the selectmen’s decision to waste money.

  8. I disagree 100% Max. You and Bob could have ended this if not for ego’s. I will add ego’s on both sides are equally responsible. You Max. are always looking for an “I gotcha”. Your past history from previous residences clearly show that. That does not make you a bad guy, for the record I applaud that you keep our Selectmen in check however your tactics need revisiting IMO.

  9. My “past history from previous residences”? That’s a very odd statement. What do you mean by that? I have absolutely no idea.

    And, Rick, have you ever been sued? If you get sued, then hiring an attorney to defend you is not about “ego.” It’s common sense. It’s what anyone would do if they could. It’s expensive, so not everyone can. We had help, and we’re very grateful to the people who helped us.

    Again, the only way you could think this was all our fault is if you expected us not to defend ourselves in anyway.

  10. And, Rick, thank you for reading the site and following what’s going on. By the way, the cost is likely more than $20,000 now. I have a RTK request in for Sager’s July and August invoices, and will also request his September invoice once it’s available next month.

  11. I am proud to say I have never been sued and believe anyone who has usually bring that upon themselves. Good luck going forward and thanks for being a watchdog for us here in town.

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