Chicopee Superintendent of Schools Arrested for False Statements
BOSTON – The Chicopee Superintendent of Schools was arrested today for making false statements in connection with sending threatening messages to a candidate for Chicopee Chief of Police.
Lynn Clark, 51, of Belchertown, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of making false statements. Clark will make an initial appearance in federal court in Springfield later today.
According to the complaint, in December 2021, the City of Chicopee was in the process of hiring a new Chief of Police. On Dec. 3, 2021, law enforcement received a report that a candidate for the position was receiving threats intended to force the victim to withdraw their application for Chicopee Chief of Police. Specifically, in November 2021, after submitting their application for Chief of Police, the victim received numerous text messages from unknown numbers containing threats to expose information that would cause the victim reputational harm. As a result, the victim withdrew their application, and the City delayed the selection process.
It is alleged that a total of approximately 99 threatening messages were sent from fictitious phone numbers purchased through a mobile app. Phone and internet records revealed that these numbers were allegedly purchased by Clark and that the purchased numbers sent each of the threatening messages.
Clark allegedly denied sending the messages on numerous occasions to investigators and cast suspicion onto other individuals. Specifically, over the course of the investigation, Clark allegedly suggested that the messages could have been sent by other City employees, the victim’s colleagues and a member of Clark’s own family. Clark later admitted that she indeed sent the messages.
The charge of making false statements provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to one of supervised release and a fine of up to $10,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Office made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil L. Desroches of Rollins’ Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.