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$225k gift from court settlement called 'poetic justice' by businessman targeted by electronic billboard

By DOUG ALDEN
New Hampshire Union Leader

July 20. 2017 4:55AM
Andy Crews, left, presents a check to Brian Mooney of Hope for New Hampshire Recovery in Manchester on Wednesday. Also pictured are Dick Anagnost, second from left, and Bill Greiner. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)



MANCHESTER — Dick Anagnost, Andrew Crews and William Greiner presented a $225,000 check Wednesday to Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, a non-profit that offers support services for those in recovery from addiction.

"It's poetic justice," Anagnost said during a short presentation at the Wilson Street center.

The money came from a settlement the three prominent businessmen reached last month with Aaron Day. He was a co-defendant in the defamation civil lawsuit the group filed in April 2016 against Michael Gill, whose South Willow Street electronic sign outside his Mortgage Specialists offices accused Crews, Anagnost and Greiner of drug dealing and extortion.

"What a lot of people don't realize is that Hope For New Hampshire Recovery has also been disparaged in this process," said Crews, whose wife, Melissa, sits on the Hope board and once served as its chair.

Greiner, the founder and chairman of the board of Primary Bank, said the settlement was reached after negotiations with Day, a Free Stater who ran for the U.S. Senate last year. Greiner would only say it was "north of seven figures."

Day, a former chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, posted statements on social media supporting Gill and repeating some of the allegations, according to court documents.

Anagnost, who has a son in recovery, said the people who run Hope are making legitimate efforts to help in a national crisis. He said he found it more than a little gratifying to use some of the settlement in support Hope, which has six recovery centers in the state.

Crews and Anagnost led the effort to refurbish the former Hoitt Furniture building into Hope's Manchester recovery center.

Crews, CEO of AutoFair, and Anagnost said the allegations they were using the center as part of a heroin-dealing operation were not only hurtful, they were false and had the potential to keep people from seeking help with addiction.

Greiner said the settlement means Day is no longer involved in the lawsuit, leaving Gill and his company The Mortgage Specialists as the only defendants. He said part of the settlement will also likely go to legal fees.

Gill also spreads his messages online with social media and used to broadcast it on a radio show he no longer has.

The civil case is set for trial in Merrimack County Superior Court on Sept. 25.

dalden@unionleader.com


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