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NHPR investigation reveals sexual misconduct allegations involving Eric Spofford

Eric Spofford at a lectern with Governor Chris Sununu behind
Jason Moon
/
NHPR
Gov. Sununu visited GRC's headquarters on July 22, 2021.

CONTENT WARNING: This story includes references to sexual misconduct.

An investigation by NHPR’s Document team has uncovered multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Eric Spofford, founder and former CEO of Granite Recovery Centers (GRC), one of New England’s largest providers of addiction treatment.

Find NHPR's full report on our investigation here.

  • Starting in 2017, Spofford allegedly sent pictures of his penis and sexual invitations via Snapchat to a female client. She says the messages began the day after she left one of GRC’s residential treatment facilities.
  • In 2018, Spofford allegedly sexually assaulted a female employee in his GRC office during the workday. He also allegedly sent this woman explicit pictures via Snapchat.
  • In 2020, Spofford allegedly retaliated against a female employee who made allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Later, multiple sources say, Spofford negotiated a paid settlement with this employee which had the effect of silencing her.

Spofford did not respond to specific questions detailing the allegations. His lawyer, Mitchell Schuster, said in a written statement, “Mr. Spofford denies any alleged misconduct -- in particular, the sexual assault accusations, which are not only categorically untrue, but defamatory in nature.” He threatened legal action if NHPR reported on the allegations.

Read the entire statement here.

Who is Eric Spofford?

  • In 2008, Eric Spofford opened a sober home, which became the first facility in Granite Recovery Centers’ network. He expanded quickly, adding multiple sober homes and residential treatment facilities. 
  • Spofford founded GRC after his own battle with opioid addiction. As CEO, he placed his personal story at the center of GRC’s brand. Today, Spofford promotes himself as an entrepreneur with professionally-made videos on social media, including his own YouTube channel.
  • In December 2021, Spofford sold GRC to a Texas-based company called BayMark Health Services. In a statement to NHPR, a BayMark representative said the company “cannot provide comment on tips or allegations that pertain to time periods prior to our ownership and management.”
  • According to recent social media posts, Spofford has plans to open new addiction treatment centers and has been shopping for properties around the country, including in Ohio, Texas and Tennessee. 
  • Spofford is politically connected. Gov. Chris Sununu said previously that Spofford is “one of the first guys I’ll pick up the phone to” for advice about responding to the opioid crisis. The governor’s office has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

Why it matters

  • People in recovery from substance use disorder — including GRC clients and many GRC employees — can be especially vulnerable to abuse and retaliation.
  • NHPR’s reporting indicates Spofford was never held accountable for any of his alleged behavior, and it is likely he made millions of dollars when he sold GRC. He now plans to open new addiction treatment centers outside of New Hampshire.
  • As drug overdose deaths reach record heights, there is a desperate need for ethical, evidence-based care for people with substance use disorder. But the addiction treatment industry lacks consistent professional standards and effective oversight. In many states, anyone can open a treatment company.
  • Since the #MeToo movement erupted in 2017, many cases of sexual misconduct in the workplace have come to light, and companies have begun to update their policies. As one source told NHPR, “The recovery industry needs a ‘Me Too’ movement.”
Lauren is a Senior Reporter/Producer for NHPR's narrative news unit, Document.
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