Former Chicopee Superintendent of Schools Admits to Lying About Threatening Messages She Sent to Chief of Police Candidate
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
BOSTON – The Superintendent of the Chicopee Public Schools pleaded guilty today to making false statements in connection with her sending 99 threatening messages to a candidate for Chicopee Police Chief.
Lynn Clark, 53, of Belchertown, pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for April 30, 2024. Clark was arrested and charged by criminal complaint on April 6, 2022 and subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury on April 21, 2022.
In December 2021, the City of Chicopee was in the process of hiring a new Police Chief. 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 Police Chief. In November 2021, after submitting their application for Police Chief, 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.
The investigation revealed 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 purchased by Clark and that these accounts sent each of the threatening messages.
On or about Dec. 6, 2021, Clark falsely claimed to be a victim and stated to agents that she received threatening text messages from unknown phone numbers, when, in fact she sent the messages to herself. Clark also falsely named other City employees who she felt may be responsible for sending the messages. On or about Feb. 7, 2022, Clark again falsely stated that she did not know who sent the messages in addition to denying that she had downloaded a mobile app with which she purchased the fictitious phone numbers to send the messages. Clark later admitted that she did indeed send the messages and downloaded the app.
The charges of making false statements each provide 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.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Office made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil L. Desroches of the Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.
Updated January 23, 2024