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Press Release

Former Chicopee Superintendent of Schools Sentenced for Lying About Sending Nearly 100 Threatening Messages to Chief of Police Candidate

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant falsely accused others, including her son, of sending the messages

BOSTON – The former Superintendent of the Chicopee Public Schools was sentenced yesterday for making false statements in connection with her sending 99 threatening messages to a candidate for Chicopee Police Chief. 

Lynn Clark, 53, of Belchertown, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni to serve one year of probation and pay a $1,000 fine. In January 2024, Clark pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements. 

“In a relentless effort to evade accountability, Ms. Clark’s actions and lies not only harmed innocent people and tarnished the reputation of Chicopee, but also sowed chaos and wasted invaluable investigative resources. She abused her position of trust as a community leader to engage in a series of baseless accusations and to weave a web of intricate lies. Ms. Clark’s scheme led to months of needless stress for the City and halted its crucial search for a Chief of Police. Additionally, her lies resulted in hundreds of hours of wasted investigation as she pointed the finger at completely innocent people,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “This calculated misconduct, which spanned false accusations against police officers, a city employee, and even her own son, underscores a flagrant disregard for the repercussions of her actions.”

“Former Chicopee School Superintendent Lynn Clark failed to lead by example when she falsely claimed she was a victim of a crime and then repeatedly lied to the FBI. In doing so, she caused unnecessary stress and reputational harm to those she accused, and wasted hundreds of hours of investigative resources,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division.  “Today’s sentence makes it clear that willfully lying to federal agents will be result in serious consequences. The FBI can’t properly pursue our investigative mandate – in this case, fighting public corruption – if the people we interview think they can deceive us with impunity.”

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.

In meetings with law enforcement over the course of several months during the investigation, Clark falsely stated that she did not know who sent the messages and attempted to dissuade law enforcement from pursuing the investigation any further, expressing concern that the investigation was harming her reputation and “tearing the city apart.” Clark also falsely claimed to be a victim and stated that she received threatening text messages from unknown phone numbers, when, in fact she sent the messages to herself. Additionally, over the course of the investigation, Clark falsely accused at least five other, innocent individuals of sending the threatening text messages – including the victim’s fellow police officers, a City employee and her own son. 

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. Clark made false statements to law enforcement 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.

Acting U.S. Attorney Levy and FBI SAC Cohen made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil L. Desroches of the Springfield Branch Office prosecuted the case. 

Updated May 1, 2024