Former councilor accuses newspaper of defamation

DERRY — Former Town Councilor Kevin Coyle has sued The Eagle-Tribune and its sister newspaper the Derry News over a July 2017 story about local efforts to assist Larry Riemer, of Derry.

Coyle claims the newspaper defamed him in the story by portraying him as a liar out for "pecuniary gain and greed,” his lawsuit states. He claims the defamation was magnified by a local Facebook group, Bringing Derry Together, in readers’ comments associated with a link to the story.

The initial story related to reconstruction of a home belonging to Riemer, a local veteran, after a fire. The project was led by Town Councilor Jim Morgan and members of the Derry Veterans Assistance Fund. Coyle questioned Riemer’s background and the decision to help him.

Coyle is a former Derry town councilor, having served two terms from 2006 to 2012. He is currently a Rockingham County commissioner and town prosecutor for Hampstead and Sandown.

Until recently he was cohost of a public affairs show on Derry Community Televison, “Up Close and Political,” in which he raised questions about the reconstruction of Riemer’s home and criticized the newspaper, its journalists and the Facebook group.

In addition to the newspapers, Coyle’s lawsuit names Eagle-Tribune New Hampshire editor Rosemary Ford, reporter Allison DeAngelis as well as Jennifer Lague, who is the administrator of the Facebook group and previously contributed a personal column to the Derry News.

Read more here