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Mass. school superintendent arrested, accused of lying to feds about sending threatening messages to police chief candidate

Lynn Clark, 51, of Belchertown was arrested on Wednesday.

Lynn Clark. Don Treeger / The Republican

Chicopee’s superintendent of schools was arrested Wednesday and charged with making false statements to federal authorities investigating her for allegedly sending almost 100 threatening messages to a candidate being considered for the city’s chief of police. 

Lynn Clark, 51, of Belchertown is charged with one count of making false statements and is expected to appear in federal court in Springfield on Wednesday afternoon, according U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins’s office

According to the U.S. attorney’s office, the City of Chicopee was in the process of hiring a new chief of police in December 2021, and on Dec. 3, law enforcement received a report that one of the candidates for the position was receiving threats “intended to force the victim to withdraw their application” from consideration.

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After submitting their application in November 2021, the victim began receiving text messages from unknown numbers offering threats to expose information that would cause “reputational harm.”

The victim did withdraw their application, according to authorities, and the city delayed the hiring process for the position.  

In total, the U.S. Attorney’s office said that about 99 threatening messages were sent to the candidate from fake phone numbers purchased through an app. Authorities allege that they determined through phone and internet records that the fake numbers sending the messages were purchased by Clark. 

The school superintendent denied sending the messages “on numerous occasions” to investigators, instead telling authorities that the messages could have been sent by other city employees, a member of her own family, and the victim’s colleagues, according to authorities. She later admitted to sending the messages, they said.

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