Mayor wants lawsuit backers ID’d

NASHUA – Mayor Jim Donchess wants people who sue the city to be required to disclose how they finance the lawsuit under an ordinance presented Tuesday night.

The ordinance would apply to anyone who brings a lawsuit against any action by the Board of Aldermen, or a similar lawsuit against challenging the validity of any Nashua ordinance or charter provision. The law would require that the person bringing the lawsuit and paying legal bills using donations, provide a disclosure of donors.

Donchess said the city has a history of expanding what types of financial political activity must be disclosed.

Donchess and the Board are currently being sued by former Alderman Fred Teeboom and current Alderman Daniel Moriarty. Moriarty, who has more than 20 donors financially backing his lawsuit, did not speak to the proposed ordinance Tuesday night.

Moriarty has declined to respond to The Telegraph’s request that he identify his financial backers and disclose the amount of money each donor has given. There is no law currently requiring that he make any such disclosure.

That could change with Donchess’ ordinance, which would treat donations to certain lawsuits against the city similar to political donations. The plaintiff would be required to file disclosures for donations with the City Clerk’s office. Anyone who intervenes for the city in court, using donated funds, would also be required to make these disclosures.

The ordinance garnered little discussion during the meeting, and has been assigned to the personnel and administrative affairs committee for a hearing.