BOSTON (SHNS) – A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted the Chicopee Public Schools superintendent in connection with allegations that she made false statements about sending 99 threatening messages to a police chief candidate in the city.
Lynn Clark, a 51-year-old Belchertown resident, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint on April 6. She is due to appear in federal court in Springfield next Wednesday and faces two counts of making false statements. The charges, according to U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins’ office, stem from a 2021 incident when Chicopee was hiring a new police chief and law enforcement officials on Dec. 3 got a report that one candidate was receiving threats intended to force withdrawal from consideration.
The victim “allegedly received numerous text messages from unknown numbers containing threats to expose information that would cause the victim reputational harm,” according to a press release. Rollins’ office said investigators determined that about 99 threatening messages were sent from fake numbers bought through an app and that records showed Clark allegedly bought the numbers.
Authorities allege Clark last December “falsely stated to federal agents that she received threatening text messages from unknown phone numbers, when, in fact she sent the messages to herself” and that in February she “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 message.”
Clark’s attorney, Jared Olanoff, said on April 8 that she is a respected 29-year city employee who denies the allegations of making false statements,” according to a video posted by Western Mass News. Asking the public “to keep an open mind about this,” he said Clark met with the FBI voluntarily three times and the affidavit contained “some inaccuracies.”