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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 21, 2022

Superintendent of Chicopee Schools Indicted on Charges of Making False Statements

Defendant allegedly sent 99 threatening messages to an applicant for police chief

BOSTON – The Superintendent of the Chicopee Public Schools has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of making false statements in connection with sending 99 threatening messages to a candidate for Chicopee Police Chief.

Lynn Clark, 51, of Belchertown, was indicted today on two counts of making false statements. She will appear in federal court in Springfield on April 27, 2022. Clark was arrested and charged by criminal complaint on April 6, 2022.

According to the charging documents, 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 allegedly 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 allegedly purchased by Clark and that these accounts allegedly sent each of the threatening messages.

According to the charging documents, on or about Dec. 6, 2021, Clark falsely stated to federal agents that she received threatening text messages from unknown phone numbers, when, in fact she sent the messages to herself. On or about Feb. 7, 2022, it is alleged that 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. It is further alleged that 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.

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 charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Updated April 21, 2022