CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Chicopee Superintendent Lynn Clark has been placed on paid administrative leave by the Chicopee School Committee after her arrest Wednesday.
Clark’s attorney, Jared Olanoff, addressed the media Friday afternoon outside the federal courthouse in Springfield. Clark was in attendance but did not provide a statement. Olanoff said she denies lying to investigators and the way the FBI arrested her was unnecessary.
“We had an understanding with the government that we’d be notified that there was a time to come to court and that we would immediately come to court. So it was disappointing and unnecessary as well,” said Olanoff.
Olanoff said they have not seen the evidence at this time and she has submitted her cell phone and computers to the FBI.
“The text messages are not the crime here. The alleged offense is a false statement and that she denies,” said Olanoff. He specifically mentioned an allegation that Clark claimed her son sent some of the messages, he said Clark denies that.
Clark is accused of lying to investigators about sending dozens of threatening messages to someone who applied for the chief of police job in Chicopee. According to a complaint filed in federal court, Clark sent the messages because she felt if the candidate was hired as the chief, it would negatively impact her position as superintendent of schools.
Clark was released from federal custody on standard conditions after a hearing in federal court in Springfield on Wednesday, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Justice. She also cannot have contact with certain individuals, cannot drink alcohol to excess, and must report to Pretrial Services as directed.
Olanoff said Clark met with the FBI three times, arguing that she had no counsel and the conversations were likely not recorded.
The School Committee met Wednesday evening in an emergency session. They voted 8 to 3 to place Clark on paid administrative leave effective immediately, and request her resignation. Assistant Superintendent Alvin Morton is now the district’s acting superintendent.