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Portsmouth Officer Sues City Over Gag Order

RICH BEAUCHESNE/SEACOASTONLINE
Sgt. Aaron Goodwin, of the Portsmouth Police Department, is cross examined by attorney David Eby while testifying in the Geraldine Webber revocable living trust hearing at the 7th Circuit-Probate Division-Dover.

A retired Portsmouth police officer who was placed under a gag order after talking to a local newspaper is suing the city, as well as the city’s Police Chief and Police Commission.

The police department put retired officer John Connors under a gag order almost a year ago, after he talked to the Portsmouth Herald about Detective Aaron Goodwin.

Goodwin inherited $2.7 million from an elderly Portsmouth woman who lived next door to Connors. Goodwin was fired last month after an independent investigation.  The inheritance is now pending in probate court.

Connors' attorney, Paul McEachern, says his client is seeking damages in federal court.

"He hopes to vindicate his right to free speech under the U.S. Constitution and as a whistleblower of wrongdoing that happened next door to where he resided," McEachern.

Connors works for the police department on a per-diem basis. His complaint outlines his efforts to alert the department to Goodwin's frequent visits to his neighbor, who suffered dementia , and Connors' decision to contact the media.

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