Article

AN UNEXPURGATED RECREATION OF THE MEREDITH NILAN CASE, AND WHY IT STANDS AS AN INDICTMENT OF LOCAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, JAN. 23, 2012) — We The People have not rested in  the Meredith Nilan-Peter Moore Case. The travesty lies the handling of the case, from the get go, beginning with the moment of impact on the night of Dec. 8, 2011 and continuing with the apparent coverup. The alleged coverup, which is all people are talking about, has riled Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski the most.

If the driver is one of the Kapanskis, there’s hell to pay from The Man. If the driver is the spoiled daughter of one of the most arrogant and self-righteous of the GOBs, which is saying a heap, she skates.

We The People cannot let this finding stand without a thorough, honest, and objective investigation.

A SUMMATION OF AN INJUSTICE — This happened, Then That Happened

From all available factual evidence uncovered so far (there may be more to come), here’s the play-by-play:

—*— It is the night of Dec. 8, around 8:15 p.m. Meredith Nilan, from all the available evidence and according to the police, has just finished partying at a BYP gathering (Berkshire Young Professionals, or BEEPERS, a production of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce). THE BEEPER “networking socials are famous not so much for “networking” but for drinking to excess. We expect that will change in light of the events of Dec. 8. The information on heavy drinking is the testimony on the general nature of BEEPER gatherings from several BEEPER veterans, who would not let their names be used.

To date, not one BEEPER of the 60 or so who were present at the “networking social” at Allium’s Restaurant in Great Barrington, Mass., has publicly testified to what they saw of Nilan’s behavior that night. Most won’t even admit they were there. The photographic evidence, however, tell us some of the roster who were there at the Great Barrington hot spot. One attendee, who will not allow his or her name to be used, says Meredith Nilan drank heavily at the party. This is not been confirmed and must be considered hearsay, which, we remind our readers, doesn’t necessarily mean the information is true or not true. We must ask, though, why the BEEPERS are so afraid to say anything. Could it be they know if they come out and tell the truth, the GOBs will punish them and their careers, locally, will be over? Many of the BEEPERS are, remember, professional and social climbers looking to get in on the gravy train. THE PLANET received further word from a member of the Chamber that the C of C’s execs have gotten the word out to its BEEPERS: “You don’t know nuttin’, you didn’t see nuttin’, you don’t say nuttin.”

* Meredith Nilan is driving North on Winesap Road toward East Street, near her home, apparently heading out again that night. A pedestrian is walk-jogging his dog on the opposite side of the road, heading in the same direction.

* Nilan’s car swerves and crosses lanes. Clearly, she has lost control. Why? Too much alcohol? Texting? Yakking on a cell phone? Falling asleep at the wheel? Daydreaming? All of these? None of these? The vehicle, owned by and registered to her father, Clifford Nilan, a senior official in the Berkshire County Courthouse, crosses lanes and slams into the pedestrian, whose name is Peter Moore. His dog is named Toby.

* The impact is so great that, as revealed by the photographic evidence, that it rips the front grille of Nilan’s SUV, dents the hood, and leaves a fully delineated head-sized hole in the windshield, just to the right of the driver. Peter Moore’s head has just smashed through the safety glass. Incidentally, THE PLANET has seen a muscular wise guy take a baseball bat to a car windshield in anger. He needed several whacks with all his strength to even create hazing. More whacks produced a spider’s web cracking. Still more whacks finally broke through the glass. Try it today on your own vehicle. You’ll see how tough it is to break the glass, and yet — and yet — the force of the impact of Nilan’s vehicle and Moore’s head produced a hole in the windshield as if it came from a punch press. Nilan tells investigators she’s not sure what she hit; it could have been a “dog” or a “deer.” Remember, a human head has just pierced her windshield, a foot or so from her face. She can’t distinguish that from a dog’s head or a deer’s head, so she testifies.

THE EVIDENCE SUGGESTS: There’s No REASONABLE Way Meredith Nilan’s Story Can be Taken as Credible

* After surveying the damage to the vehicle, from photos first published by THE PLANET, is there any reasonable way to believe the driver did not know she had hit a human being — not a “dog or a deer”?

* The driver does not stop to notify police.

* The driver does not wait for the police to arrive, as the law requires, despite the fact that a man is almost killed.

* The incident is hidden for almost a month, although THE PLANET first got wind of it a little more than week after it happened. Our first notice came in an e-mail from one of our sources. We made discreet inquiries. Miracle: Nobody knew, heard, saw, or said anything. Nonetheless, we got enough of a confirmation to tell us there was a measure of truth to what we heard. Something had happened. Was that measure full brimmed or one-finger high? We didn’t know.

* The incident finally breaks. We learn that Cliff Nilan, and not Meredith, is the one who calls the police. Why? Is Meredith too impaired? Is there another reason? She doesn’t report to the police until late the next morning, more than 15 hours after the accident, enough time for alcohol to leave her system, if any was present. Her father, meanwhile, has refused to allow Pittsfield police to search the vehicle. He forces them to get a warrant.

* Mysteriously, the Pittsfield police can’t get the courts in Pittsfield to issue a warrant. Was that because Cliff Nilan knew they wouldn’t because of his connections there as the head of the Probation Department? Did he think police would give up or drop the case because it was politically too hot to handle? Or was there another explanation why the police could not get a warrant from Pittsfield?

* Police, though, don’t give up. They are on a mission. They are doing their job, and well. They get a warrant from the Southern Berkshire District Court.

 The Victim, Peter Moore, Tells a Different Story

* The recollection of the victim tells a story opposite of Nilan’s. The police investigation differs from the Nilan account on many crucial aspects. The physical evidence at the scene and on the Nilan vehicle support the claims of Moore and the police compared to Nilan’s statements.   With an application of common sense and reason to the best available body of evidence, one must find in favor of the police and Mr. Moore.

* Pittsfield police charge Meredith Nilan with criminal misdemeanor counts. The counts are subject to a magistrate’s hearing.

Secret Hearing Bars Victim and His Lawyer; A Ringer Magistrate Railroads an Unbelievable Verdict

* The Pittsfield court sets up a hearing for Jan. 12. The hearing date is not made public. THE PLANET is the only media source to investigate. We find shortly after the three-hour hearing some details.

* The magistrate, Nathan Byrnes, who is not from the Pittsfield court, has the option of opening or closing the hearing to the press and the public.

* Byrnes closes the hearing to the public. Let those  words sink in for a moment. This of what they mean.

* Byrnes closes the hearing to the press. He does it in the most bloodless and efficient way possible, by not sharing information on the date or time.

* There is no independent witness to the proceedings.

* Court officials provide no transcript of the hearing.

* Court officials provide no tape of the hearing.

* Byrnes, an assistant clerk magistrate from Westfield, is selected, we learn, because, according to the office of Berkshire County clerk magistrate Christopher Speranzo, he (Byrnes) will be objective, since he knows no one in the case. THE PLANET receives information, unconfirmed, though, that Byrnes’ father and Meredith Nilan’s father, Clifford, have a professional and personal relationship, going back to the beginning days in the court system.

* The victim, Peter Moore, is not allowed to attend the hearing.

* The victim’s lawyer, by his own testimony, is not allowed to attend the hearing.

* Meredith Nilan’s lawyer, Tim Shugrue, is allowed to attend and present evidence.

* The magistrate finds that there is insufficient evidence for the case to go to trial. This incredulous, incredible finding angers the Mary Jane and Joe Kapanskis. Good, honest, decent citizens — ordinary citizens who don’t have connections in the System — know that if they had been behind the wheel, they would have been signed, sealed, and delivered, on ice. The perception is that the GOB have saved “one of their own,” yet again.

* Despite the fact that there is no independent confirmation of what went on in the hearing, the Boring Broadsheet — a newspaper once known as The Berkshire Eagle — dutifully prints the story of the Byrnes’ finding. No harm, no foul. See. All that fuss over nothing. Oops. Sorry, Peter Moore. Get over it, big guy. The BB story — which runs without a byline, that is, anonymously —  only quotes Shugrue. It takes his account as whole cloth, including his claim that a full evidential hearing was held. As legal observers point out, including lawyers and one judge to whom THE PLANET spoke, that turns out to be a false claim, since the other side in the case was not allowed to present or attend. The BB later begins a more responsible approach to its coverage, forced into doing to by public outrage and the pressure of this website’s coverage.

———————————————————-

We shall be back to post the next installment of today’s PLANET. Look soon for:

THE NILAN CASE MAY YET BE THE WATERLOO OF THE CITY’S SOUL.

Till then,

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

 

68 Responses to “AN UNEXPURGATED RECREATION OF THE MEREDITH NILAN CASE, AND WHY IT STANDS AS AN INDICTMENT OF LOCAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM”

  1. Tito
    January 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    I forgot to tell you…shhh….have it on authority, she was drunk as a skunk that night. This was a classic coverup!

  2. The Mighty Led Zeppelin
    January 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I know there’s a need for lawyers but the one involved in this case on the side of Nilan gives a bad name to all reputable people in practice. Telling bald faced lies and expecting people to accept them as truth not only insults us but the justice system also. People like this should not have their practice supported in Pittsfield.

    • Scott
      January 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

      Never heard those two words together before reputable and lawyer.

  3. Dexter
    January 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Dad:
    Why not ask ALF if Meredith had been drinking too much he was at the event. In fact he had his picture taken with her. He is an officer of the court and if she was intoxicated he should have stopped her from driving – that is if it didn’t cut into his own drinking. The picture I saw (on the planet) looked as if ALF was “buzzed” not Meredith.

    • Silence Dogood
      January 23, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

      Who says she drove herself home from GB? Did she ride with someone else to and from the event in GB and hop into the Cliffymobile after being droped off? Who else from Pittsfield was there that she might have ridden with?

      • Ray Ovac
        January 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

        SD, WOW, GREAT point! That’s the first I think anyone’s even suggested on these threads or on Topix that Meredith Nilan may have gotten a ride back from Great Barrington to her residence in Pittsfield. If Nilan got a ride back to her home after the BYP party, who drove her, and did that person observe Nilan in an inebriated state?

    • Ray Ovac
      January 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      Excellent observation, Dex!
      Does not Alf Barbalunga, as an officer of the court, have an obligation to tell the truth to a judge or magistrate under penalty of losing his courthouse job if found lying?

      • danvalenti
        January 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

        We shall ask Alf about the incident soon. Then, we will report what he says … or doesn’t say.

        • GMHeller
          January 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

          Seems to me that a DA, judge, or magistrate somewhere should be putting ‘Alf’ under oath.
          If someone then comes forward and contradicts Alf’s testimony, poor ‘Alf’ might find himself out the door.

        • dusty
          January 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

          Is this the same Alf that is now on the Pittsfield school committee?

          • danvalenti
            January 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

            Yes.

          • Molly
            January 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

            Also Southern Berkshire District Court’s Chief Probation Officer.

    • Wronged by alf
      January 27, 2012 at 11:58 am #

      Alf should be the next one investigated, he and the probation department protect their own. A judge ordered drug testing for my ex before he could visit his daughter…47 days passed before he had to appear for testing. My ex even screamed in. My face that his family was like royalty and untouchable because of his connection to Alf.

  4. GMHeller
    January 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    From BYP’s Facebook page, here is a list (in alphabetical order) of the BYP attendees at Allium Restaurant in Great Barrington the evening of December 8th, 2011 (at least those who were photographed and whose pics were posted by BYP to its Facebook page:

    1. Alfred E.’Alf’ Barbalunga
    2. Ryan Belanger
    3. Morgan Blastoff
    4. Jillian Brothers
    5. Jackie Dolan
    6. Brad Felix
    7. Brianne Forrest
    8. Melissa Guyer
    9. Jessica Havens
    10. Christine Hoyt
    11. Ron Kelly
    12. Kathleen McCormick
    13. Jenine Moro
    14. Meredith Nilan
    15. Rick Rotti
    16. Jason Shepard
    17. Brent White

  5. danvalenti
    January 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    GLEN
    Good information. Thanks. None of the BYPers we contacted “knew nuttin’.” Right.

    • GMHeller
      January 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      Talking to Dan Valenti, the journalist, is a lot different than being required to testify under oath to a grand jury under penalty of perjury.
      Did PPD obtain any statements from BYP’ers present that night at Allium?

  6. Shakes His Head
    January 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    I think that the real story here is that the Massachusetts judicial system doesn’t effectively deter crime in cases like this because it is slanted towards the accused and not the victims or the general public.

    • danvalenti
      January 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

      SHH
      Especially when the accused is Connected.

    • dusty
      January 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

      From what I hear even after all the drug busts you can still get what you want just about anywhere. So that might not be working out too well either. Seriously, how much worse could it be if they just stopped going after these people?

  7. Silence Dogood
    January 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    Glen,Who says she drove herself home from GB? Did she ride with someone else to and from the event in GB and hop into the Cliffymobile after being droped off? Who else from Pittsfield was there that she might have ridden with????

    • Silence Dogood
      January 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      otherwise there might have been troubleon the road between Pittsfield and GB if she was sloshed.

    • Ray Ovac
      January 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

      Also, DV, were PPD required to go the citation/show cause hearing route? Within the universe of all the likely things that Meredith Nilan did that night in violation of state law, were there no grounds whatsoever for her to be charged with a felony (or multiple felonies) instead of misdemeanors? Also DV, if it’s up to the Magistrate to decide whether or not to open or close a show-cause hearing, what under Mass.state law are the commonly-accepted judicial parameters for determining the question whether or not to close a show cause hearing?
      The DA, David Capeless, claims he gave advise regarding the Nilan matter. Not sure if this meant to PPD, to the Magistrate, or both. Regardless, what was DA Capeless’ advice to anyone on the question of the Nilan show-cause hearing’s being open or closed?

      • Scott
        January 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

        It’s only a felony if they can prove she was drinking or someone died why can’t you accept that? Besides why do you think they played it like they did they aren’t stupid they know the system. Daddy knew she’d potentially face some charge but at least not a felony OUI.

        • danvalenti
          January 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

          SCOTT
          The law also seems clear about personal injury hit-and-run, as well as hitting a living creature in such a way that it causes extensive damage to the car. You stop at the scene, you immediately notify the police, and you wait at the scene until they show up. None of this was done, from what we know. How is this not evidence enough to convince the ringer clerk magistrate from Westfield to send it to trial? It would seem inconceivable that he could consider all that is known of the event and decide there was not enough evidence to warrant a trial. Remember, his decision to send it to trial wouldn’t have been a pronouncement of guilt. It simply would have been to let a more thorough court procedure determine the facts in the case.

          • Scott
            January 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

            I’m not arguing that it’s still not a felony according to the law leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury is not a felony it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a shitty thing to do though.

      • danvalenti
        January 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

        RAYKOVIC
        We shall be putting inquiries along these lines to the proper authorities to see what they have to say … or not say.

        • Molly
          January 23, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

          It’s the OUI that would make the case be a felony. (IF she was and that would be dependent on what the witnesses say who were at the BYP social event). Without the OUI, it’s a misdemeanor and misdemeanor’s follow the route of a “show cause hearing”. Never heard of a show cause hearing (or probable cause hearing) that didn’t allow the victim nor his lawyer to be present – unbelievable! Scott is right – Cliff is not stupid – he knows how the system works. He knew they had to call the police and report “something” but didn’t want the police actually showing up and doing a breathalyzer test on her, so came up with calling the police to report that his daughter “may have hit a deer or a dog” – and no, there is no longer a deer or dog to be seen, knowing full well that the police wouldn’t respond to that but it still covered his daughter for calling to report it (although technically it shouldn’t – it was hours later!) and in any event – no breathalyzer and likely, therefore, NO felony charges. Cliffy knew he could get her out of trouble with a “show cause hearing” – he just needed to bring in Nathan Byrnes who likely owed him a big favor. And now Chris Speranzo isn’t showing up? Isn’t that interesting… Is it at all possible that Speranzo wouldn’t agree to dismiss the charges at the “show cause hearing” as Cliffy was requesting and so Cliffy went to Nathan Byrnes, the Westfield Assistant C.M., who likely owed him a favor, and brought him in, instead? Question: who would have to approve of Nathan Byrnes coming to Pittsfield to hear one case? And he’s only an “Assistant Clerk Magistrate” of Westfield – not the CM. Another question – is there a date or some timeframe that a judge needs to make a decision on the appeal?

    • GMHeller
      January 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

      Silence Dogood, YOU DA MAN!
      Who drove Meredith Nilan home after the Allium Happy Hours is going to be the question on people’s lips from hereon out.

      • danvalenti
        January 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

        That is an assumption based on a speculation, namely, that someone drove her home. Along those lines, does Ms. Nilan have her own set of wheels? If so, did she drive to the BYP party on her own, only to be driven home by someone. Was that why she was driving her father’s car at the time that she hit and nearly killed Mr. Moore? Have the police talked to the BYP roster? Do they know for a fact whether she drove herself home or if her condition caused a concerned person to arrange for her to be driven home?

      • dusty
        January 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

        Well yah. It would have been foolish for each of these future GOBers to drive their own vehicle to an out of town bash. So it would be logical for some of them to have car pooled. Somebody knows sumptin, but mums the word by the looks. The Enquirer would be offering cash for the dirt..

    • GMHeller
      January 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

      Mr. Valenti, Silence Dogood has nailed it.
      Here’s a proposed scenario:
      Meredith Nilan was plainly in no condition to drive home that night from the Two Hours of Happy Time at Allium.
      A friend drives her home.
      She gets in the door at the Nilan’s Winesap Road residence and thinks, “Hell, there’s a party going on over at Patrick’s Pub; it’s still early; I’m heading over there.”
      She freshens up at home for the next five/ten/fifteen minutes (after all, the lady’s about to burst after being in transit from GB to Pittsfield for 40 minutes), then heads out the door figuring she’s sober enough to drive (don’t all boozers when drunk think they’re sober enough to drive?).
      She jumps in Cliff Nilan’s SUV in the driveway, backs out, and, heading north on Winesap, punches the accelerator hitting about 45-50 MPH (thinking she doesn’t want to be late for the Patrick’s Pub party), when a few seconds later she strikes head-on Peter Moore.
      Now Mr. Valenti, I’m not saying this is the way events absolutely positively transpired, but it sure would explain how Meredith Nilan got home in one piece from GB that evening in the state she likely was in, and why she might have thought she was sober enough to drive on her own to Patrick’s Pub, and her mindset upon leaving the house and getting behind the wheel.

  8. Ray Ovac
    January 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    DV, did PPD ever request Meredith Nilan to take a breathalyzer test the evening of the accident, and if the request was not made to Meredith directly then to her father who had contacted PPD? Could not Cliff Nilan’s refusal to allow detectives to examine the vehicle and presumably as well to give his daughter a breathalyzer test be considered a refusal to undergo a breathalyzer and isn’t such a refusal in Mass. considered grounds for automatic termination of one’s license to drive?

    • Silence Dogood
      January 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

      I believe they have to see the driver behind the wheel or in the imediate vinicity of the vehicle in the case of an accident. She could say when I got home after the accident I was so upset that I had a few drinks and couldn’t be proven wrong.

  9. Molly
    January 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    The police were never there the night of the accident. Recall that Cliffy called hours later to report that his daughter thinks that she might have hit a deer or a dog, and no – there is no sign now of a deer or a dog anywhere, and so the police never came. And then Shugrue said, “they did everything right – they called the police and the police never showed up”. Riiiiiight… They never showed up for a deer being hit who was then (supposedly) long gone. All part of the vicious lie so that she wouldn’t be given a breathalyzer test that night. The police only found out about all of this when the hospital called them the following (very early) morning. Certainly long enough for her to then pass a breathylizer…

    We won’t know if the police interviewed anyone at the BYP social event unless and until it goes to a trial, or if anyone drove her home that night – right now that is all speculation. She could, in theory, have driven from Gt Barrington to Pittsfield while being drunk and was just lucky until she left to go out yet again and then it was the bad luck of Mr. Moore. But again, all of this is speculation and we won’t know unless it all goes to trial. As someone said not too long ago, the good ‘ol Sgt. Shultz from Hogan’s Heroes mantra of – “I see NOTHING!!”

  10. Olga1975
    January 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Word is that the police dispatcher sent the officer to the wrong address that night (check the tape) and he reported that no one was home. i.e. no breathalyzer test for the young lady( tell me that wasn’t done on purpose) no breathalyzer test, no felony charges. Like someone said , they know the system.

    • Amanda Blake
      January 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      Olga how do you know this? CAn you say this is good information? Where did the dispatcher send the police. What cops?

      • Olga1975
        January 24, 2012 at 4:19 am #

        I have a 78 year old mother who listens to the scanner like it was a religion. She live in the orchard and has a memory like an elephant If the lawyer for Mr, Moore asks for the tape of that evening he can verify this.

    • Scott
      January 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      Why do you think lawyers tell their clients to refuse breathalyzer tests? Because an automatic 120 day license suspension beats a felony OUI on your record. Nilan would also be smart enough to know claiming ignorance isn’t illegal. Of course the whole story stinks but there’s nothing anyone can do even with this huge public out cry the only thing that’s going to happen is she will be brought up on misdemeanor charges plead guilty do probation (lol) and have her case continued with out a finding for a year if she stays out of trouble they’re not going to make an example out of her but I’m curious to see how pops comes out of this one.

      • Molly
        January 23, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

        I agree with you, Scott…

  11. Diana
    January 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Will we ever see the truth?

    • GMHeller
      January 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

      Diana, you ask “Will we ever see the truth?”
      Not until there is a full adversarial proceeding giving all sides an opportunity to present evidence — it’s call a trial, and it’s the last thing The Nilans want not only because of the legal expense (lawyers fees related to hit-and-run litigation are not covered by insurance), but also because of the legal risk both to Meredith Nilan as well as to her father, Clifford.
      Cliff Nilan got directly involved after the fact, perhaps as an ‘accessory’ and depending upon the degree of that involvement (e.g.: possible coverup in the aftermath of the accident, possible obstruction of justice, possible destruction of evidence, etc.), it could possibly pose legal complications for Mr. Nilan.

    • Scott
      January 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

      We already know the truth but unfortunately the truth and what you can prove are two different things. Of course there is the possibility she was texting or something and not drinking but that’s something only she and her dad will know and have to live with. Personally if it was me I could care less about criminal charges and more about medical expenses and compensation for lost wages.

      • GMHeller
        January 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

        Scott, would not evidence of texting be discoverable from cellphone company records, and would not all that be admissible both at a criminal proceeding as well as in civil proceedings seeking to assess damages and to hold Meredith Nilan and Clifford Nilan (the SUV’s registered owner) liable for boku damages?

        • Scott
          January 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

          Not every cell is traceable to a specific user.

  12. CONCERNED
    January 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    DAN Receive the following from someone in the court system. FIRST After the hearing this clerk from Westfield was asked: how he couldn’t have found probable cause. His answer was something like, there might have been cause but you would have never won this case in a court trial You tell me the fix wasn’t in.

    SECOND: Speranzo hasn’t been seen in days at the court. There are arguments between the workers and the whole place is a mess over there.

    Third: One one the assistant clerks is being investigated for leaking out information that she has knowledge when she was a ADA for Mr. Dowing and Capeless.

    Fourth: This Judge Rutberg( who is in charge) has got every State Trooper, Poice Officer, ProbationOfficer, DA’s and just about everyone else in the court system up in arms with his lenient rulings and sentences As one put it ” we bust our ass catching these criminals for serious crimes time after time and Rutberg keeps letting them go”.

    Its time for the whole system to have a hugh investigation Another worker says ” its out of hand and getting worse by the day”

    .

    • Scott
      January 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      The machine…

    • GMHeller
      January 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      Don’t you love it when Liberal Democrats are chasing, while simultaneously eating, their own tails?

    • Ray Ovac
      January 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

      DV, recommend you set up a ‘Speranza Watch’ calendar and post the days when Chris comes to work and those when he is a ‘No-Show’. No doubt there are people at the courthouse keeping track.

  13. CONCERNED
    January 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    GM Heller Have to agree with you. With that being said about Cliffy. his being a Chief Probation Officer, a possibility of him being involved in obstruction of justice, who should be called in to investigate him. Where does this go, DA Capeless, Atty General, or FBI ??????

    • GMHeller
      January 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

      Mr. Valenti,
      This could be a troll spouting nonsense or it could be someone with factual information.
      The following was posted an hour ago to Topix:

      ‘Muslimsshhmusloo m’ of Pittsfield, MA wrote:
      “They said the clerk mag from Westfield had no connections with the Nolan’s but cliff is alll about Westfield n everyone knows that.they were seen together having dinner last Friday at the 99. FIGURE THAT ONE OUT”

      SEE:
      http://www.topix.net/forum/city/pittsfield-ma/TAEEVJCO7NQM5GVUM#c8

    • Molly
      January 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

      Not Capeless, please! In theory, Atty General, but she’s just another politician. Would love to find out how to get the FBI involved!

  14. Steve wade
    January 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Dan what happen to the advertisements in your blog? Are we going big time now?

    • Steve Wade
      January 24, 2012 at 5:24 am #

      WOW Dan your awfully quiet about your new advertisment policy on the Planet. What gives?

      • Molly
        January 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

        You really ARE obsessed with Dan!

  15. Joe blow
    January 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Dan , thank you for picking up on this story and keeping it in the spotlight. There are a few trolls on the local blogs that say we are all nuts or conspiracy theorists but I read about this on topix just days after it happened and it turned out to be true. Same goes for most of the recent scandals. The bloggers are the ones who are forcing the b.b. to cover these stories. The same thing is happening on a national level, the Internet has left nowhere to hide for the lying,thieving,corrupt polititions and government officials. The jig is up and the powers that be are scared. We the people need to keep up the pressure and not let this one fade away! If this was you or I we would have been arrested and sitting in jail. There are no kings or queens we are all supposed to be treated equally under they law. Enough is enough!

    • danvalenti
      January 23, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

      JOE
      Your last three lines say it all.
      This is the case that may spill the container holding a lot of ugly little secrets.

  16. CONCERNED
    January 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    W have to keep digging facts on the clerk from Westfield Im sure this was a set up with bringing him in to hear this case. Also keep asking about whats going on with Cliff cleaning up a crime scene. From a good source a neighbor or neighbors seen him cleaning up glass from scene. Also who brought this Westfield clerk in to hear this case.

    • danvalenti
      January 23, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

      Dig we shall.

      • GMHeller
        January 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

        Mr. Valenti,
        James J. Lyons, chief probation officer at Westfield District Court and Cliff Nilan, chief probation officer at Berkshire Superior Court both started in the Mass. Probation Department the same year; each is going on his 39th year with the department.
        SEE:
        http://www.mass.gov/courts/probation/probjournal0306.pdf

        • Steve Wade
          January 24, 2012 at 5:26 am #

          WOW Thanks Heller I can sleep better knowing this !

      • Steve Wade
        January 24, 2012 at 5:31 am #

        Dan The Planet is slowly becoming The new TOPIX Blog. Your letting the Crazy people run the show. Time to get back to the facts and not the what ifs. I say this as a person who thinks Cliff is guilty as sin.

  17. Shakes His Head
    January 24, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    It’s not as if the executive director ran over and killed a man a year ago. Where was the outrage then?

    • levitan
      January 24, 2012 at 10:30 am #

      There was outrage. The response to this story is in some fashion magnified by memories of that incident.

  18. GMHeller
    January 24, 2012 at 12:46 am #

    “Westfield Magistrate Let’s Driver Walk in Hit-Run”
    SEE:
    http://berkshireeagle.blogspot.com/2012/01/westfield-magistrate-lets-driver-walk.html

  19. Olga1975
    January 24, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    Olga1975 January 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm #
    Word is that the police dispatcher sent the officer to the wrong address that night (check the tape) and he reported that no one was home. i.e. no breathalyzer test for the young lady( tell me that wasn’t done on purpose) no breathalyzer test, no felony charges. Like someone said , they know the system.

    Reply

    Amanda Blake January 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm #
    Olga how do you know this? CAn you say this is good information? Where did the dispatcher send the police. What cops?

    Reply

    Olga1975 January 24, 2012 at 4:19 am #
    I have a 78 year old mother who listens to the scanner like it was a religion. She live in the orchard and has a memory like an elephant If the lawyer for Mr, Moore asks for the tape of that evening he can verify this.

  20. Unchy
    January 24, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    @G M…. Your work has been impeccable here, please don’t taint\it with the democrat- republican axioms, of course, unlike the Berkshire Bullcritters you do have the freedom of speech.

    • GMHeller
      January 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      Unchy,
      Are you seriously implying that Massachusetts is not a ‘one-party’ state, controlled top down by Democrats?
      Also, are you seriously implying that Pittsfield’s GOB’s are not directly connected to, and part of, that state-wide political machine?
      How do you think it was so easy for politically-connected Cliff Nilan and his GOB Democrat cronies to reach over to another county to get a rubber-stamp magistrate to protect Nilan’s daughter?
      Would YOU, Valenti or I be able to wield that power; would YOU have been able to wangle that political favor?

  21. Unchy
    January 25, 2012 at 5:05 am #

    @GM, answer is no, and I’m a democrat.