Star Latti holds up a piece of paper threatening eviction from Nathan Reardon. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Nathan Reardon sued two tenants in Penobscot County court this week before he went to jail for violating his bail.

Reardon, the head of a sprawling business empire that includes dozens of entities and an operation through which he rents out apartments without owning them, accused both tenants of violating their leases and defaming him. He filed both lawsuits acting as his own lawyer — one on Tuesday and another Wednesday, the day he was arrested for a violation of his bail conditions.

The lawsuits are among many Reardon has filed over the years against those he claims have disparaged him and damaged his reputation.

Last year, Reardon became the first Mainer charged with defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program after he allegedly obtained a $60,000 loan from the pandemic business relief program on fraudulent premises. The bail violation for which he was arrested Wednesday was connected to those fraud charges because he sought federal rental assistance that his bail conditions barred him from seeking without a probation officer’s approval.

He sued one of the tenants, Star Latti, the same day the Bangor Daily News published an article that detailed the conditions of the Howland apartment she and her husband rent from Reardon. An eviction notice also appeared on Latti’s door the day the article appeared, she said.

The apartment didn’t have a toilet when Latti and her husband Wayne moved in last month, and they had to install one. The apartment last week still had exposed wires hanging from the ceiling and lacked doors between rooms. Water flows into the basement unit when the Lattis’ upstairs neighbor showers.

The lawsuit alleges that Latti violated multiple terms of her lease for the $1,750-a-month unit, including a failure to pay fees and deposits and allowing her husband to live in the unit advertised as a two-bedroom apartment.

The lawsuit also claims Latti violated a “non-disparagement” clause by speaking to the BDN and accuses her of defaming Reardon by making statements to the BDN that were “totally untrue.”

“I’m not worried about this lawsuit,” Latti said Thursday. “It’s a game to play with people.”

A BDN reporter and photographer toured Latti’s apartment and reviewed a video she took the day she moved in that showed the lack of a toilet, holes in ceilings and walls, and cabinets without doors.

Reardon is seeking $101,080 in damages from Latti, who relies on rental assistance for her apartment and showed the BDN a receipt proving it.

Reardon sued the BDN over its coverage last Friday, and he sued another news outlet, News Center Maine, late last year.

He’s also sued the city of Bangor and the Bangor Police Department, alleging they violated public records law.

In addition, Reardon has filed a counterclaim against a former female employee who filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission alleging that Reardon discriminated against her when he suggested he go to her home for a massage. The commission is suing two of Reardon’s businesses on the former employee’s behalf, and Reardon has accused her of lying about and defaming him.

In 2015, Reardon filed a lawsuit in Florida alleging a former employee defamed him and his business Performance Auto and Diesel. Reardon ultimately won the case.

Sawyer Loftus is an investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he worked for Vermont Public Radio, The Burlington Free Press...