Judge issues injunction against Michael Gill in defamation case
MANCHESTER — A judge has ordered mortgage broker Michael Gill to remove from his electronic business signs any statements accusing attorney Alex Walker of attempted murder.
In an April 10 injunction, Superior Court Judge N. William Delker ordered Gill to remove any such references about Walker from the Mortgage Specialists Inc. signs outside his offices in Manchester, Nashua and Plaistow.
While the injunction had been in place for 10 days, Walker said a friend forwarded a photo taken Thursday morning showing the same message on the sign outside Mortgage Specialists' office off South Willow Street.
"I thought Judge Delker's order was thoughtful, balanced and narrowly tailored to get the defendants to do what I had been asking for from day one," Walker said. "I'm grateful that the court, in a pretty expedient way, has issued this order, but at the same time I'm disappointed. It's extremely frustrating that these defendants appear to show no regard for lawful orders of the court and for the rule of law generally."
On March 30, Delker ruled against Gill in a defamation lawsuit brought by Walker, an executive at Catholic Medical Center and prominent attorney in the community.
The suit was filed last April after Walker's name and photo appeared on Gill's Mortgage Specialists' billboard next to the words "Attempted Murder."
Delker wrote in the April 10 injunction order — which prohibited the statement about Walker in any form — that such an extreme remedy was appropriate.
Delker said the injunction did not inhibit Gill's constitutional right to free speech and that the order was the only way to prevent further irreparable damage to Walker.
"The defendants have not offered a scintilla of evidence to support their accusation against the plaintiff," Delker wrote. "The type of false and highly inflammatory statements made by the defendants here are extremely damaging to the plaintiff's reputation and ability to do business."
The Walker case is one of several legal actions pending against Gill, who did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday.
Gill had said he planned to appeal Delker's order finding him liable for defamation.
In addition to the signs, Gill has made his assertions about Walker and others on social media, on radio broadcasts and on his "State of Corruption" website.
Manchester developer Dick Anagnost, auto dealer Andy Crews and banker William Grenier have also filed a defamation lawsuit. That case was moved multiple times after Gill asserted potential conflicts of interest, and three judges have recused themselves due to prior contact with Gill or his company.
In another case, a district court judge in Nashua fined Gill $31,900 in civil penalties last week after he failed to appear for a hearing on violations of city ordinances regarding his electronic sign on Amherst Street.