Article

TOM MOORE, HIT-AND-RUN VICTIM’S FATHER, SPEAKS IN A PLANET !!EXCLUSIVE!! … MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE QUESTIONABLE NILAN VERDICT … SOURCES SAY CHARGES IMMINENT IN FEDS’ PROBATION DEPARTMENT SCANDAL … plus BILL STURGEON LIGHTS UP THE AIR (WHAT, YOU THINK IT’S EASY?)

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, JAN. 20, 2012) — When the Boring Broadsheet published its story on the dismissal of police charges against Meredith Nilan in the hit-and-run incident involving Peter Moore, it did so with no byline, quoting only Ms. Nilan’s attorney, Tim Shugrue.

Moreover, the BB had access to photos showing extensive damage to the car police say Ms. Nilan was driving on the night of the incident. Naturally, the BB did not publish those highly relevant news photos. THE PLANET obtained its own set of pictures and published them. The BB also completely ignored the victim’s side of the story, until our continued coverage of this case forced their hand.

THE PLANET is gratified that the BB had no other choice but to run something on Peter Moore. The daily rag has been dragged, kicking and screaming, into a semblance of coverage on the Nilan hit-and-run case. That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for nobody.

THE PLANET has demonstrated what a little investigative can produce. We follow up with an interview with Peter Moore’s father.

Tom Moore is a retired Hartford, Conn., police officer, having served the force for decades. In other words, he is doubly qualified to speak: first as the victim’s father, and second as an experienced law enforcement official. He spoke to THE PLANET from his home in Florida:

Peter suffered a brain injury after being struck as he was rendered unconscious,” Mr. Moore tell THE PLANET. “Therefore, his recollection(s) of the events just prior to and after the incident are unclear.  He remembers jogging with his dog on a leash on the west side of Winesap.  He was running north facing the oncoming traffic.  He heard the Nilan vehicle behind him and saw that it was in a position to strike him.  He threw the dog to safety and then attempted to jump out of the way himself.

” When he was able to stand and in a dazed condition, he believed that both he and the dog had made it to safety and that his injuries were the result of a hard landing when he jumped from the path of the oncoming vehicle.

“After limping home, his wife pleaded with him to seek medical attention.  He was reluctant to summon an ambulance, as he did not realize that his injuries were as severe as they later proved to be, and since he was employed by the hospital [Berkshire Medical Center], he may have been a little embarrassed to be seen there in his present condition.

Tom Moore continued: “Peter is almost 46 years old but is in incredible physical shape.  He is a long distance runner, a mountain biker, a cross-country and downhill skier.  Prior to being injured he was looking forward to the upcoming ski season at a local resort in your area, where he was the Captain of the Ski Patrol.  All of these things have been taken from him by Ms. Nilan’s inattention or impairment.”

Mr. Moore says his sone “was able to get his dog to safety,” adding that “the animal is physically fine but if out walking and [he] comes to the intersection of Macintosh and Winesap, he will refuse to turn right or north and go up the street to where Peter was struck.”

Peter Moore’s father also wanted to add one more thing:

“There have been many questions as to why Peter went home after being struck and how was he able to do this after being so severely injured.  To be able to walk that far on a broken leg, with a broken neck, and massive internal injuries seems almost an impossibility. 

During my 23 years in law enforcement as a police officer, however, I have observed the shot, the stabbed, the beaten and the sexually assaulted attempt to return home or to a location where they feel safe as they want to distance themselves from the location of their trauma.  Many knew that they were going to die, but they still attempted to flee from the location where they became a crime victim.”

THE PLANET thanks Mr. Moore for his time and cooperation. We wish him, his wife Susan, and most of all their son Peter the best for a full and speedy recovery from a horrific (brain injuries, broken neck, broken legs, multiple bruises and cuts) experience.

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NO ONE WANTS VENGEANCE; WE THE PEOPLE ONLY WANT JUSTICE, AS WELL AS A JUSTIFIED BELIEF THAT THE COURTS ARE IMPARTIAL 

Let’s be clear. No one is looking for vigilante justice or kangaroo courts in the case against Meredith Nilan. Tell Judge Roy Bean and Edgar Buchanan to head west, out of town. We do want justice, of course, which is ALWAYS the minimum assumption We The People must have for our courts. Moreover, we want to be safe and secure in our perception of equal rights and responsibilities under the law — that Lady Justice indeed wears a blindfold.

And also to be clear: If the magistrate had found reason for the case to proceed, that simply sends it to trial. It would not have been a determination of innocence or guilt. On the face of it, an open court proceeding would seem a much more proper venue than a secret, closed-door clerk magistrate’s hearing.

How Does a Near Fatality Hit-and-Run Case End up as a Simple Misdemeanor?

So here’s THE question: How does a near fatal hit-and-run incident — in which a pedestrian is severely injured, at speed enough to force his head through the windshield, just below and to the right of the driver’s seat, dent the hood, and take off the front grill — how does that become a misdemeanor, subject to a magistrate’s ruling that there was insufficient evidence to send it to trial? And how, with the evidence available, does a magistrate find insufficient evidence for the case to proceed? Certainly, one of the most plausible explanations out of the many is this: The case was fixed, from the get-go, by the driver’s father: the Veddy Connected Clifford Nilan. Is that what happened? Who’s convinced that it did NOT happen? And how do we restore the public’s confidence in the local courts?

From the website criminal-law-lawyer-source.com: “If you are involved in a car accident that injures a person or animal or results in damage to another person’s property, it is illegal to leave the accident scene without calling police. Such an incident is referred to as hit and run, a crime that can result in serious consequences, ranging from high fines to prison time.”

Based on what we know and the evidence that has thus far surfaced, there seems to be no question that:

*Meredith Nilan hit Peter Moore at about 8:15 p.m. on Dec. 8 in front of 6 Winesap Drive.

*Moore was severely injured and nearly killed. His injuries included brain damage, according to Tom Moore, the victim’s father.

*The driver left the scene without calling the police.

Add that up. If your name is Mary Jane Kapanski and not Meredith Nilan, what do you think happens to you? What happens to you if you are unavailable for the police to check if you’ve been drinking? What do Ms. Nilan’s colleagues in the Berkshire Young Professionals say about her drinking earlier that night at a BYP bash in Great Barrington?

The Law Seems Clear: ANY Personal injury accident Requires the Driver to Remain at the Scene Until Police Arrive

Here is another excerpt from the same law website:

“When the hit and run accident involves injury to another person, penalties are much more severe. The driver may face fines, DMV points, prison time and a revocation of his or her driver’s license and/or insurance policy. Most states’ laws require a minimum of liability insurance to be able to register an automobile. … People involved in any type of motor vehicle accident where injury or damage occurs are required to remain at the scene until police arrive.”

Read that last sentence again: “People involved in any type of motor vehicle accident where injury or damage occurs are required to remain at the scene until police arrive.”   We do not see the exception for “any” in the Nilan case, but then again, we are not an impartial magistrate from Westfield who, according to Ms. Nilan’s attorney, didn’t know anyone involved in the case nor the explosive political nature of the verdict he was called upon to reach. That’s what they’re asking us to believe, on their word only, since we have no information from the hearing itself.

THE PLANET obtained through sources photos of the vehicle police say Ms. Nilan was driving on the night in question. (see PLANET from yesterday and two days ago). Looking at the damage, and especially at the extent of windshield damage (in close proximity to the driver’s seat), is Ms. Nilan’s claim credible? She says she thought she hit an animal (a deer or a dog) and not a human being. Even allowing for this mistake, it would appear that the law required her to stop, notify police, and wait until they arrived at the scene. Or are we mistaken?

Can we presume she had a cell phone or smart phone in her at the time of the accident? What 24-year-old doesn’t have such a device? If she did, why didn’t she make that phone call to the police? What do the logs of her cell phone show?

She ‘Saw Nothing, Found Nothing, and at First, Apparently, Did Nothing’

Ms. Nilan says she stopped the car, looked around,  found nothing, and therefore continued on. Is that credible, to a neutral observer, given the damage to that vehicle? And is there truth to the story that she drove from the accident scene to Patrick’s Pub, where the Pittsfield Court system was having its the holiday party (confirmed by a Patrick’s staffer), to find her father? Was she overheard telling her father at Patrick’s that she thought she hit a person with her car?

Given Cliffy Nilan’s actions in covering up for his great buddy Angelo Stracuzzi, how can anyone reasonably have the sense justice was served in this case?

We don’t know how it normally works, but it does appear the hearing before the Westfield magistrate (he came to Pittsfield; the mountain did not go to Mohammed) was set up with lightning speed. No media were allowed in to witness and report. No members of public were allowed in as witnesses. We don’t know what questions were asked, who if anyone represented Peter Moore, or even if the magistrate viewed photos of the indicent. We know absolutely nothing of what went on, and yet, Ms. Nilan, Cliffy Nilan, and the courts would have us accept the verdict without the slightest wonder.

THE PLANET has heard that District Attorney David Capeless assisted the police department’s appeal of the decision. We can’t commend the DA for doing his job, but we will say that if Capeless is instrumental in seeing this matter through to an equitable resolution, he is doing We the People a great service.

We The People simply haven’t accepted — and can’t accept, based on the past behavior of Mr. Nilan — the “insufficient evidence” verdict as being a case of justice served. Rather, they will see it as justice thwarted because a 24-year-old woman has a connected daddy. Meanwhile, a severely injured man must go about the long, grueling process of putting a nightmare behind him.

THE PLANET urges the Pittsfield Police Department to pursue their appeal as aggressively as possible. We also call upon District Attorney David Capeless to make a statement about this case and continue to assist the cause of Lady Justice by putting her blindfold back on.

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GLOBE: CHARGES COMING DOWN SOON IN PROBATION DEPARTMENT SCANDAL

Speaking of Probation, which one is doing whenever considering the actions of Clifford “Cliffy” Nilan, don’t look now, but it appears that charges will soon be coming down from the federal investigation into practices and procedures at the state probation department. That would be Cliff Nilan’s employer.

Sources are telling the Boston Globe that criminal charges are imminent “against numerous probation employees, politicians, and potentially others in the scandal.”

Here is what Thomas Farragher and Scott Allen of the Globe’s Spotlight Team are reporting.(FULL DISCLOSURE: THE PLANET worked with Farraghar and Andrea Estes of the Spotlight Team on local aspects of the newspaper’s investigation).

This piece ran on Jan. 17 in the Globe:

Federal prosecutors have essentially completed their investigation into alleged rigged hiring and promotion practices at the state Probation Department, according to two people briefed on the US attorney’s work, clearing the way for criminal charges against numerous probation employees, politicians, and potentially others in the scandal uncovered by the Globe’s Spotlight Team.

One probation employee – Christopher Hoffman, Northampton District Court acting probation chief – has already been charged with intimidating a witness in US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz’s investigation. But lawyers involved in the case expect that a federal grand jury may soon indict a dozen or more state employees and state legislators on charges related to favoritism in hiring and promotion.

Federal prosecutors “are just checking details at this point’’ before making criminal charges public, said one person who was familiar with the US attorney’s investigation. However, several people say it is unclear exactly when Ortiz will make an announcement or exactly who will be targeted.

Word of the federal grand jury’s secret work has percolated through political and probation circles for months as witnesses were subpoenaed to testify, providing clues as to where the investigation was heading. In addition to questions about the conduct of the former probation commissioner, John J. O’Brien, and his deputies, prosecutors have focused on political figures such as Rep. Thomas Petrolati, the former third-ranking leader in the House of Representatives.

The Spotlight Team found in 2010 that O’Brien turned a once-respected agency into a patronage haven that readily provided jobs to friends, relatives, and supporters of politicians and court officials, whether they were the most qualified or not. The Globe identified 250 probation employees who had political or court connections or ties to O’Brien himself.

O’Brien, who resigned along with two top deputies a year ago, has already been indicted on state criminal charges based on Attorney General Martha Coakley’s investigation. A Suffolk County grand jury charged that O’Brien illegally raised campaign funds from his employees to help his wife get a job with Timothy P. Cahill, then the state treasure.

US Attorney Ortiz launched the federal investigation in November 2010, directing probation officials to preserve all documents that could be used as evidence in the criminal investigation, including e-mails, computer files, paper records, and text messages.

Ortiz’s preservation order came on the same day that Paul F. Ware Jr., an independent counsel appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court, released an exhaustive report that vividly sketched a massive patronage scheme orchestrated by O’Brien and his top aides.

Ware was appointed in May 2010, the day after the Globe Spotlight Team detailed the 2,000-employee agency’s phony hiring practices. Ware’s investigation concluded that fake interviews and rigged promotions were practiced “on a grand scale.’’ His report cited potential crimes, including wire and mail fraud, bribery, perjury, conflict of interest, and illegal solicitation of campaign funds.

Ware focused primarily on the conduct of probation employees, but he found evidence that O’Brien worked closely with state legislators to help their friends and supporters win jobs and promotions. Ware also found that O’Brien kept detailed lists of the job candidates promoted by state legislators and routinely told probation hiring committees which candidates he expected to be finalists for jobs.

Ware identified several state lawmakers who benefited significantly from O’Brien’s patronage system, including House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and his former top lieutenant Petrolati, who was nicknamed “the king of patronage’’ by Western Massachusetts probation employees for his influence over probation hiring and promotion. Petrolati, a Ludlow Democrat, voluntarily stepped down from his leadership post after Ware issued his report.

In addition, Ware questioned the conduct of former speaker Thomas M. Finneran, an ally of O’Brien who helped centralize probation hiring power in O’Brien’s hands. Finneran declined to answer Ware’s questions under oath, citing his constitutional right to remain silent.

But 14 months after Ware’s report, prosecutors so far have charged only Hoffman in the case. Hoffman, who grew up with the children of one of O’Brien’s top aides and rose through the probation ranks ahead of employees with more experience, allegedly told a subordinate at Northampton District Court that she was a “rat’’ for talking to FBI officials investigating favoritism in probation hiring.

If convicted, Hoffman, who has been placed on administrative leave from his job, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Will any of the local probation officials be called before The Man for any local crud?Stay tuned, as we say in radio.

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STURGEON KEEPS THE AIR HUMMING ON WBRK

WRBK talkmeister Bill Sturgeon, with whom THE PLANET did 90 minutes of scintillating AM radio yesterday, keeps the ship afloat, and everyone within the station’s signal should be grateful.

Unless you’ve done a daily talk show in a local market that’s loaded with political nitroglycerin, a ton of thin skins, and a gaggle of Juicy Secrets, you have no idea of the “ancillary activities” you must deal with — and to refresh your memory, THE PLANET did just that for 14 years on The Dan Valenti Show.

Along with our hour and a half of air time, Bill and THE PLANET got in a good amount of shop talk off the air. That remains between the two of us, of course, but the upshot is that day after day, come what may, Bill Sturgeon launches another adventurous three hours of local talk. It’s one of the most challenging and exacting ways to become a local celebrity. There’s always someone getting their hair mussed, no matter what you do or say.

If it isn’t an advertiser, it’s a caller who didn’t like the way you ended a call. If it’s not station management, it’s a politician who can’t get over someone asking a discouraging word about something he or she did. You’re supposed to say yes to every fund raiser and good cause that comes along, and too often, people have no problem using you because of the position you occupy. You’re set up a thousand times, and if you’re not careful, you’re knocked down as many times.

A live microphone on a general interest talk show is the bully pulpit, especially on a show that actually tries to say something (and you know what we mean by that), and there’s not one person in a thousand who can handle such a spotlight and the pressure that goes with it. Bill Sturgeon can, has, and will.

Live, spoken talk — oh, how unlike writing! The written word allows you to revise your thoughts into their highest articulateness. Live talk, though, comes out raw: once you say it, it’s gone. THE PLANET loves and always has the urgency, the highwire-without-a-net aspect of that.

Our point, in sum, is this: Next time you tune in to Bill Sturgeon’s show, give a nod of thanks that it’s there.

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WEEKEND ON THE PLANET IS UPON US, AS WE BECOME SOCIAL DIRECTOR FOR A WORLD FULL OF PRINCES AND PRINCESSES. MAY YOUR BE HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND SAFE.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

101 Responses to “TOM MOORE, HIT-AND-RUN VICTIM’S FATHER, SPEAKS IN A PLANET !!EXCLUSIVE!! … MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE QUESTIONABLE NILAN VERDICT … SOURCES SAY CHARGES IMMINENT IN FEDS’ PROBATION DEPARTMENT SCANDAL … plus BILL STURGEON LIGHTS UP THE AIR (WHAT, YOU THINK IT’S EASY?)”

  1. Bull Durham
    January 20, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Thank you Dan for this piece. For all of us who know Peter, we wish him the fastest recovery possible from these horrific injuries, and we only want justice, not revenge.

    • Dave
      January 20, 2012 at 8:52 am #

      AMEN!

      All we want is justice and fair play.

      Get well soon Peter!

      • danvalenti
        January 20, 2012 at 9:05 am #

        DAVE
        Agreed. Peter Moore is the victim here. His life will forever be measured BH (Before Hit) and After Hit (AH). We wish him well and share his frustration at an obvious coverrup.

    • danvalenti
      January 20, 2012 at 9:09 am #

      BULL
      Thank you. We are trying out best to right an outrageous wrong.

  2. CONCERNED
    January 20, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Unbelievable the clerk doesn’t allow the VICTIM to testify at the hearing. This case is smelling more and more and a investigation is needed. If not by the people who should look into this scandal than by us the people. So lets start with this clerk Nathan Bryres from Westfield. Need to have Connor Berry, Dan and who ever do some investigation on him. I will do my best by asking people questions. Who else to start with than the people in that area.

    Who brought him in to hear this case. I would have to say that would be Speranzo’s call. Or did he get advise from one of his asst. clerks Ms Barry or Mr. Kears. For some reason that wanted him in on this case why. Does he have a connection with the demo party???????? Or is he just a bleeding heart liberal. I would bet there is a connection here somewhere.

    This case is screaming for answers and will not go away till the public gets them. So my advise to Chief Wynn, DA Capeless, Mr. Speranzo, and Judge Rutberg (who will decide the appeal I believe) don’t try to bury this case JUSTICE must be done.

    I have never seen the public more up in arm and disgusted about the Judicial system than this case has brought.

    For Ms Nilan just bring her to court and let her go thru the system like she should. As far as the scandal if there is one ( bet on it there is) it must be investigated and the truth be known.

    • Ray Ovac
      January 20, 2012 at 11:24 am #

      Shouldn’t we be calling our local legislators (State Sen. Ben Downing, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Pignatelli, and the rest of the Berkshire delegation) to file bills seeking the impeachment and/or removal of Asst. Magistrate Byrnes?

      • Silence Dogood
        January 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

        He is only a messanger of sorts. He probably was low man on the totem pole. The court system needs to realize that it’s time for them to take of the nylons.

      • Steve Wade
        January 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

        Heller Are you insane? You have no proof that this person did anything wrong yet you want people to call their Legislators! You may go by Ray Ovac but we all know its really you Heller. Dan your Blog is getting nutty. Your giving all these loonies a reason to write. One person even thinks Evan Dobelle is involved! Come on Dan…. Your Blog does alot of good , but when you let the quacks dominate the blog it makes it takes away all of your good reporting. LOL

    • Molly
      January 20, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

      To me, he was called in so Speranzo wouldn’t have to take the heat and he was, theoretically, far enough away to allow the GOBs to say (as Shugrue did) – “he doesn’t know anyone involved in this case!” BULL! And now he is owed many political favors that I’m sure he’ll cash in on many times. Or maybe he already owed a political favor and so the GOB’s called in the favor! That’s how they work! I don’t think that any investigation on him will turn anything up, other than perhaps a review of his telephone/cell phones… Along with his close associates. Would LOVE to see that happen!

      Rutberg – the worse judge this county has ever seen – will be the one making a decision on the appeal? OMG!

      • Boom
        January 21, 2012 at 7:27 am #

        If only there were more “Mollys” out there to: plow our roads, provide us legal representation, preside over the courts, protect us from crime, and represent us politically, all the worlds problems would be solved. Did I miss any other area of expertise Molly? Typical know-it-all blogger.

        • Molly
          January 22, 2012 at 11:17 am #

          Typical GOB – obviously right in the midst of all the corruption and feeling a bit threatened…

          • Boom
            January 22, 2012 at 11:34 am #

            Yeah, that’s it. You’ve got me pegged Molly! I guess we can add clairvoyance to your list of skill sets. This just adds to your TOB commentary.

      • Steve wade
        January 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

        Molly You will have a great career as a science fiction writer. You really have a very active imagination. Just remember there are secret tapes in Baltimore and big brother is always listening.

        • Molly
          January 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

          Doesn’t scare me – not one bit! I couldn’t care less if big brother is listening or watching as I have nothing to hide! But that sure does sound like a threat to me!! You cannot intimidate me, and you can try to keep ridiculing me but I take that as a compliment because someone with credibility is speaking the truth and apparently that’s a threat to the GOB’s!!! Oh well!!!

          Have a good night, boys!!!

  3. Richard
    January 20, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Dan

    This kind of cover up or lack of holding some people accountable for there actions has been going on for years. Not only in cases like this but in business also.People who are in charge have there special people and they will do what ever they can to protect them.

    • Dave
      January 20, 2012 at 8:56 am #

      There is far too much lack of accountability in our society today. It would be very refreshing to have people be held responsible for the actions and choices they take.

      This is the type of real change this country needs.

    • danvalenti
      January 20, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      RICHARD
      It has indeed. What’s different this time around is cyberspace. It’s getting harder and harder for the GOB to pull this crap anymore. THE PLANET will see to that.

  4. Shamrock
    January 20, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    The bottom line is that a man was struck by a car and left in the road. That could have been your brother, husband or father that night. This speaks volumes about the kind of person Meredith Nilan is. A person with morals or any hint of decency would not leave an injured person in the road.People SHOW you who they are.
    As far as the judicial system in Berkshire County, I have no faith in any of them. Too many underhanded cases floating around. I’m shocked that 60 Minutes or Dateline hasn’t picked up on the crap that goes on in the Berkshire County Judicial system. I am troubled by Meredith’s lack of understanding in the difference between right and wrong and the fact that this kind of disgrace runs rampant in Berkshire County.

    • danvalenti
      January 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      SHAMROCK
      We agree with the statement: People SHOW who they are. Actions speak all.

  5. Ray Ovac
    January 20, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    DV, Question: You quoted Tom Moore (Peter Moore’s father) as saying, “Peter suffered a brain injury after being struck as he was rendered unconscious …..”
    Question: How does an unconscious or even semi-conscious man lift himself off the hood of an SUV, in the windshield of which his face is planted?

    • Bull Durham
      January 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

      Mr. Moore was not stuck on the hood of the car. He was hit by the car, his head went through the windshield, and he was then thrown clear of the vehicle, landing on the side of the road. He was unconscious for a period of time, laying in the snow on the side of the road, then came to and made his way home. He was able to get home because his body was in shock and he hadn’t fully realized how serious his injuries were. By brain injury, he suffered a major concussion.

      • Ray Ovac
        January 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

        Bill Durham, you say, “he (Peter Moore) was then thrown clear of the vehicle”.
        Where is the evidence for this assumption? The physics of the situation do not necessarily allow for him to have been thrown to the side when he was hit head on — look at the dents in the front middle of the SUV’s hood. Moore’s face hit hard enough to leave a huge hole in the windshield, so isn’t it just as likely that with a guy’s face in the windshield, that the driver then jammed on the SUV’s brakes?
        Wouldn’t you, even if you were totally drunk?
        Further, if Moore was easily dislodgable from that face down position on the hood and in the windshield, would he not then have slid FORWARD with inertia when the SUV’s brakes were applied hard? Would he not have then landed/dropped in FRONT of the braking SUV? Yet, Moore’s puddle of blood was found to the side of Winesap Rd, implying that he had to have gotten there somehow. Isn’t it just as likely that Moore was helped off the hood to the side of the rode or helped from in front of the SUV to the side of the road, at which point the panicked driver jumped back in the SUV and drove off?

        • Molly
          January 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

          I understand what you are saying, Ray, and it’s a great point! The windshield isn’t just “dented in” – there is an actual hole in it where his head went THROUGH the windshield. It would not have been possible for him to then be thrown clear of the vehicle once his head was through that windshield! Did the state police do an accident reconstruction on this case? If not, why not and they need to!! Yoo Hoo – oh Char-lie…! Has this happened?

        • levitan
          January 24, 2012 at 10:15 am #

          Worth considering and I wouldn’t assume MN did not get out and dislodge him, just as I don’t assume she didn’t return to dispose of him later on.

          But…what happens after the impact depends on the angles of impact – Moore may well have been departing the hood even as he struck the windshield.

          We’ll never know the truth there.

    • acheshirecat
      January 21, 2012 at 6:49 am #

      Ray,
      I don’t know how Mr. Moore made it home but I know from personal expirience that your brain kicks into a shielding mode. I fell 40 feet some years ago. Fractured my skull, broken neck (no halo) and broken arms. I remember nothing of what happened and honestly felt no pain. Later on I met the ambulance driver and emt and they told me they had to strap me down because I kept fighting to get up. They said it was amazing I was even conscious and talking.

  6. Unchy
    January 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    @Raykovic….very, very carefully…

    • Ray Ovac
      January 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

      But Peter Moore was unconscious according to Tom Moore, his father, so how could he, even “very, very carefully” have managed this almost superhuman feat in his condition at the time?
      Isn’t it reasonable to presume that he was given a hand by the SUV’s driver before that driver took off?

      • Molly
        January 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

        I think you’ve made some excellent points!

  7. Silence Dogood
    January 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    It’s not so much the GOBs as it is GODs, Good Ole Democrats!

  8. Silence Dogood
    January 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    The GODs have spoken

    • Molly
      January 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

      LOL – that’s great as they obviously do think of themselves as GODs!!

  9. Ray Ovac
    January 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    DV, a guy named SPHouzz wrote in a comment posted to the BB that “I would really like to see the people on the
    site stop railing against the Pittsfield police and DA Capeless. They are on Mr. Moore’s side and his family has already expressed their appreciation.”

    DV, if DA David Capeless is truly on the side of Peter Moore’s family, in such a politically-charged matter as this involving a locally powerful court official’s offspring, could not have Capeless insisted on empaneling a grand jury to review the evidence brought forward by Pittsfield Police and then let the grand jury decide whether to issue an indictment?
    Instead, it appears Capeless allowed — and even encouraged — the travesty of justice that was sure to take place by allowing this matter to go before a magistrate in a show cause hearing closed to the public and closed even to the accident victim’s attorney? Certainly, DA David Capeless bears some responsibility in how this whole matter has been handled from the prosecutorial standpoint, does he not?

    • charley
      January 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      He could not because it was a misdemeanor but could now so hang tight vaccum man.

    • Molly
      January 23, 2012 at 11:05 am #

      The people aren’t “railing against the Pittsfield Police” – to the contrary, we support them. We are railing against the DA and his apparent ‘advisement’ and orchestration of this entire fiasco.

  10. Ray Ovac
    January 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    http://www.berkshireeagle.com/editorials/ci_19780174

  11. Ray Ovac
    January 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    DV, you ask, “Will any of the local probation officials be called before The Man for any local crud?”

    Not bloody likely. Were anyone local to be charged, they’d already have seen the handwriting on the wall and they’d have taken ‘early retirement’. You haven’t seen Cliff Nilan nor Alf Barbalunga announcing their retirements so don’t hold your breath about anyone else local being charged in ‘Pay-for-Play’.

  12. Tito
    January 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Doesn’t the facts suggest that this was clearly a hit and run? She is trying to present herself as someone that didn’t know what was hit? That is an impossibility.

  13. Joetaxpayer
    January 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    That is what Cliff and Shruge came up with for a alibia.They felt that would make her seem oblivious to the fact that she left a man and his dog on the side of the road,like road kill.Tito agree with you,also if she did stop and get out of the car she would have seen him.Bigger question for me is how the schmuck from Westfield could not think there wasn’t enough doubt to let this go to trail.

  14. dusty
    January 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Can anyone attach a name to the likely person in charge at the Eagle that has been bagging this story for so long? Since we are airing laundry here it seems high time this individual caught some heat as well.

    • Steve Wade
      January 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

      Dusty His name is Richard Cranium.

      • dusty
        January 21, 2012 at 3:35 am #

        Thanks Steve. If my recollection is correct this is the same guy that was involved in the Lincoln assassination. Booth took the blame but obviously there was a subplot

    • Ray Ovac
      January 22, 2012 at 5:55 am #

      Most likely Eagle publisher Andy Mick. You could email Conor Berry and ask him who at the Eagle was spiking his stories.

  15. Hearse Driver
    January 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    I still want to know why Peter Moore was jogging in the road at nite? Where was his reflective clothing? I do a lot of driving for my job(not in the funeral busineess) and most streets in town are not lit very well.

    It just seems to me like the only way justice can be served in this case is for Ms. Nilan to get some sort of jail time. There is no way she could get a fair trial here. I would think they would have to move the trial to Worcester. Im all about a fair trial and justice for all but Mr. Valenti HAS NO PROOF that any coverup or “strings were pulled”. And if he does then i suggest him to put that out.

    Also I thought in the eagle’s article about the clerk magistrates hearing on the case, wasn’t it mentioned that most hearings before the CMs are typically or often not open to the public and the press?

    • Silence Dogood
      January 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

      who says he wasn’t wearing reflective clothes?

    • Molly
      January 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

      Yet again, trying to blame the victim. Disgusting.

  16. Sal
    January 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Patricks Pub did not have the Pittsfield Court System party that night… nor did they have any party that night. Apparently the “staff” is not a very good source…

    • danvalenti
      January 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      That’s not what we were told. Are you an authoritative source? If so, by what means. And if so, and what you say is accurate, we thank you for correcting the record. Thank you.

  17. Unchy
    January 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    @ H D With all due respect, it’s insignificant what Mr. Moore was wearing. Do you think if he were wearing reflective clothing eiither way? Ms. Nilan would have stopped? Remember H D the pedestrian always has the right of way, harsh in this case, but yes, very true.

    • Silence Dogood
      January 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

      Right, she crossed over ton the wrong side of the road. She must have been speding and quite possibly texting and or drunk.

  18. Bill Sturgeon
    January 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    I thank you for your very kind words. Coming from the “Pathfinder” of “Open Mic” local talk radio, I am honored. Like you I do it for my listeners, even the ones who do not like me. We have become a family.

    Once again, thank you! “The Fat Man”

    • ambrose
      January 21, 2012 at 6:33 am #

      Three hours is a long time and i for one find baba louie’s and the bankers boring and turn them off – but when the hot topic of the time is the county’s judicial system and what the heck is going on there and you spend two days vilifying collingwood and not a word can be said there’s something wrong with the show – merideth does not even have to be mentioned – she’s a very nice girl (woman) who made a bad mistake and received worse advise – no matter how it turns out she will have to think of this every waking minute for a long long time – if as dan has said she was a kapanski this would have been over a month ago and the healing process would have started for both she and peter and none of us would be talking about it

      • Molly
        January 21, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

        Sorry, but nice people don’t leave another human being lying on the side of the road bleeding from his head. Very narcissistic people do… If she can do that, then I highly doubt that she will be thinking of this every waking minute… Her actions have shown that she thinks only of herself. And she needs to be punished for those actions.

  19. Molly
    January 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Mr. Moore’s comments in the BB today were very much a wake up call. This man will likely forever be in pain from this incident and the fact that he’s alive is truly amazing — the photo’s of that car were incredible! Incredible that any C.M. or judge could just ‘dismiss’ these pieces of evidence.

    Also incredible is the network of GOB’s coming out of the woodwork on these blogs, BLAMING THE VICTIM, and blaming, chastising and degrading any and all good, law-abiding citizens who are outraged at this travesty of justice. This is a very common “play” by the sleazy politicians to divert attention away from their own scandals, corruption, or otherwise sleaze — blame the person who broke the story, ridicule those who speak out against them, and usually come up with some other “firestorm” to keep the attention away from themselves and their corruption du jour.

    This is just NOT happening this time! We will not be intimidated by your absurd posts that blame the victim and ridicule the good citizens of this city who are sick and tired of the corruption, and we will not forget about this until true justice has been completed. So go ahead and continue trying to flip the blame to the victim and calling the good people who are outraged lunatics – it’s not going to get you anywhere – not this time! This is just too blatant, too outrageous, and we aren’t going to put up with it. We even have (obviously) someone from the DAs office doing the very same thing! It’s not going to work!! The people are “on to you” and your sleazy methods.

  20. CONCERNED
    January 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Well put Molly. HD must be Cliffy’s uncle, or Angelo. Blaming the victim, what a low blow. This asshole clerk not allowing the victim to testify, I have never hear of this. The evidence is there for this case to go forward to a court of law. Ms Nilan cause this accident and left scene. Then her fathers pulls the strings to cover this up. Cliffy you have done nothing but to cause more problems to your daughter. If you cooperated from the start, a complaint would have been issued and it would be in the court not in the public as it is now. Cliff Nilan you have done no justice for your daughter, or your family SHAME on you “AGAIN”

    Still want people to go after this Clerk from Westfield. I called there today to voice my opinion how wrong this was. I was told he is not taking any calls. Surprise, surprise.

    • Diana
      January 21, 2012 at 8:39 am #

      Pittsfield leaders should be ebrassed and ashamed go themselves. This is so wrong in so many ways.

    • Molly
      January 21, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

      Yeah big surprise that he’s not taking any calls! He doesn’t have to – he has a lifetime appointment. So he doesn’t have to answer to anyone. Disgusting. Also, look at what Cliff taught his daughter – that she is not accountable for her own actions. So she can just go on with her life and hurt people and continue to drive like that with no consequences. I agree – shame on him!

      • Ray Ovac
        January 22, 2012 at 6:03 am #

        These public officials with so-called lifetime appointments: to whom does one write to have these people removed from office or impeached?

        • Molly
          January 22, 2012 at 11:27 am #

          Martha Coakley (good luck), our Governor (good luck) and our Legislators (again, good luck). BUT, if enough people do it, then perhaps… Maybe we should start trying to organize a protest and a write-in complaint campaign to these people…

  21. Crisis Counselor
    January 21, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    Molly in my many years of working with victims of violent crime I must say you have said this very well. DO NOT BLAME THE VICTIM! And Ambrose if the driver is such a good person she should turn herself in and be accountable for her actions or rather failed actions.
    The fact that the hearing did not have to be closed but that they chose to exclude Mr. Moore is what I find the most damning. And here is where something can and should be done. Legislation should be passed making it mandatory that victims and their representatives MUST be present in all such hearings to insure that their RIGHTS are being safe guarded in such a preceding. We can call it Peter’s Law or Moore for Victim’s! The good people of Pittsfield can petition their legislators for such changes and network with other Victim’s groups through out MA to make it happen. That might make things harder for someone else to sweep something under a rug without a record of what really transpired and what was really presented.

    • Molly
      January 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

      That’s a great idea! Help us – how do we start? Who are the victim’s groups in Pittsfield, and throughout MA? There have been a lot of people posting how disgusted and outraged they are and they want to do something but don’t know what to do and they feel helpless. This is something we all can do!

  22. Gary
    January 21, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation.”
    ― Marian Wright Edelman

  23. Unchy
    January 21, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    If the Nilans were cleaning up the area where the accident occurred, they were only being good citizens.

  24. Joe Pinhead
    January 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    This whole situation is tragic on about a million fronts; the mechanics of the law do not and never will supersede morality. Is it legal for someone to be so negligent as to claim they hit a deer or a dog and depart the scene? Possibly but I doubt it. The larger question is what does it say of our community that someone could harm someone else and show absolutely no human compassion? Yes it was an accident and not done purposefully, is it the result of driving impaired? Or distracted? Once again we will never know. What does it say to the community at large that both a daughter and father who has been held up as a pillar of the community has such disdain for the people they call neighbors?
    Think for a minute of your own child being the driver of that vehicle have you taught them so little regarding life you would expect them to act in the same manner? Would you accept that from them at 24 years old? Has the young lady been taught by her family that she is all that matters? And now the parents have yet again affirmed that thought process.
    Mr. Moore is a member of our community who did nothing wrong, no matter if he was or was not wearing reflective clothing, jogging on the wrong side of the street etc. Where in any moral code does it say it is ok to leave a man for dead because he was jogging in non reflective clothing? Are Ms Nilan and her daddy now the judge, jury and executioner for the fashion police?
    I think not and I find it amazing that the Berkshire Agenda (bb) has an article about a school project regarding diversity yet participated in a miscarriage of justice based on nothing more than social status. And all of it remarkably around the holidays and MLK day. It isn’t right to judge people based on skin color but perfectly acceptable to leave them for dead based on social status? This community like every other community is not looked upon from the outside as to how wealthy we are or how affluent we might be as a community, no this like every other community is judged based upon how we treat our fellow residents regardless of social status.
    Mr. Wade and others have made comments in defense of the Nilans can I ask you; is your self worth that low and do you feel that inferior that you would allow yourselves to be treated this way? Do you feel that you have so much less value in the community than young Ms Nilan that if your ever involved in a similar situation its ok for whom ever to leave you for dead on the side of the road? Or does that driver have to be connected to someone? If so please let everyone know how important that driver should be? If it was Mr. Wade instead of Mr. Moore the same folks that he and others are belittling would be equally concerned for them and their justice, sadly it appears as if equal respect is not given.

    PS Molly I enjoy your commentary and am glad that you partcipate in the discussion. :-)

    • Steve wade
      January 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

      Mr. Pinhead I never made comments in defense of Nilan. I personally think he is a big A Hole. I just dont like Bloggers writing like they are experts in everything, when they are just big blow hearts.

    • dusty
      January 21, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      Well said Joe. Well said.

      And I also enjoy Molly’s contributions as they are well researched and well stated.

  25. Unchy
    January 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    The Nilan’s are just better people than you! Deal with it!

    • Silence Dogood
      January 23, 2012 at 7:41 am #

      but not better drivers

  26. Unchy
    January 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Steve, who would you rather have help you out of a ditch? The Planet or Cliff/ nuff said.

    • Joe Pinhead
      January 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

      Both Cliff and his daughter had the oppertunity to “help Mr. Moore out of the ditch” I’m not certain they are capable. We see how it worked out.

      • Molly
        January 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

        :-) Excellent response, Joe!!!!

    • Ray Ovac
      January 22, 2012 at 6:54 am #

      Cliff Nilan and his ‘pulling strings’ to get his daughter off a hit-and-run rap is just one more example of the power of the good ol’ boy Democrat political machine that runs things in Pittsfield and throughout Massachusetts. The magistrate in Westfield is part of the same machine as Cliffy. As long as Massachusetts voters keep electing the same party to run this one-party controlled state, expect this kind of thing to be the norm. Is it any surprise that Cliff’s daughter gets off just like Lt. Gov. Murray gets away with lying about his 108 MPH crackup and just like a whole slew of Democrat Mass. House Speakers get indicted for corruption, and just like members of Boston’s City Council, all Democrats, get caught stealing?
      All these hacks are part of the Democrat machine that controls Mass. state government and its hometown offshoot the Democrat machine that runs Pittsfield.

      • Silence Dogood
        January 22, 2012 at 7:59 am #

        Good Ole Democrats (GODs) of Massachusetts. Don’t get your hopes up folks around here think that democrat is on their birth certifcates

  27. Steve Wade
    January 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Dan, Whats with the advertisement thats included in todays blogg? Have you sold out? How will you be able to write fairly if you now take advertisement money?

    • Ray Ovac
      January 22, 2012 at 6:57 am #

      DV, did your site somehow get infected with adware?

      • Silence Dogood
        January 22, 2012 at 7:39 am #

        The Planet should allow ads….help wanted ads so the Good Ole Democrats (GODs) can not only read about why they will be unemployed. They can also look for work. It’s only fair and a public sertvice. Also Dan could allow ads for moving companies.

        • Molly
          January 22, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

          Moving companies only! ;-)

  28. charley
    January 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Just wondering why you would run a video – the one mocking the DA and police – that was created by convicted and incarcerated drug felons? Why Dan?

    • Diana
      January 22, 2012 at 7:48 am #

      Why not?

    • Ray Ovac
      January 22, 2012 at 8:40 am #

      Charley, you mean to say the DA’s eyes don’t really bug out like that?

    • danvalenti
      January 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      CHARLEY
      Simply answer is that we believe in free speech, and we don’t know that the source of the video is who and what you claim. When in doubt, allow people to have a say, even if it’s an unpopular one.

  29. Scott
    January 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    We don’t even have a Hannaford’s around here.

  30. Ray Ovac
    January 22, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Here’s something of note:
    Two posters to the Eagle’s Disgus comments section appear to be affiliated with the DA’s office, Leekwriter and Court Observer.
    Neither poster has yet responded to these salient questions posed of them:

    Are you claiming police were required to go the route of a ‘show cause’ hearing?
    Are you also claiming there were no grounds in a case like this by which to charge a felony instead of a misdemeanor?
    Where does it say a show-cause hearing must be closed to the public?
    Did DA Capeless advise for or against closing the hearing to the public?

    • Molly
      January 22, 2012 at 11:32 am #

      Don’t forget “charlie” on this board — obviously the same person as “leekwriter” on disqus.

    • charley
      January 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      Ray, I highly recommend you call the DA. He returns all calls. You should ask him these questions, although realize that this is an ongoing investigation and he can easily run into legal reasons why he can’t answer them. If you have the balls to do it you should and report back.I do not work there.

      • Ray Ovac
        January 22, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

        Charley, a private citizen shouldn’t have to do what you a suggesting, that’s what the reporters for the Eagle are supposed to be doing.
        Better yet, in a controversial matter like this, whre people are fast losing whatever little faith they still had in the Berkshire County DA, why isn’t DA’s media guy coming forward with a press release answering obvious questions like these?
        All it show is just how obtuse the DA’s office is.
        Where does it say the DA is forbidden from answering whether or not police are required to go the route of a ‘show cause’ hearing?
        Where does it violate anyone’s rights to explain whether there are no grounds in a case like this by which to charge a felony instead of a misdemeanor?
        Where does it say the DA cannot make a public statement explaining the circumstances when a show-cause hearing should and should not be closed to the public?
        Where does it say that the DA cannot honestly state whether or not he advised closing the Nilan hearing to the public?

  31. CONCERNED
    January 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    The New England Pats pull it out!!! It was stressful however. Going to Indy. Congrats Pats

    • Molly
      January 22, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

      And this time, we are taking down the Giants!!!

      • danvalenti
        January 23, 2012 at 10:01 am #

        Goes without saying, so we say it!

  32. Amanda Blake
    January 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    NEW ENDLAND SUPER-PATRIOTS, once agian, rule!!!!!!!!

  33. Hearse Driver
    January 22, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Again, I am not related to the Nilans or am I Angelo. I have never met any of the people involved in this case.

    I am just an average John Q. Public, asking questions to. im just curious as to why the victim here was jogging in the road and want to know if he was wearing reflective clothing. Why was he not on the sidewalk? is there any proof that Ms. Nilan was drunk or texting or speeding?

    • Ray Ovac
      January 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

      There’s photographic evidence that Nilan was partying earlier in the evening on the night of the accident at Allium, a yuppie bar in GB. No one who was at the party, and there were at least about a dozen and a half at BYP’s Happy Two Hours –and their names are public knowledge –are talking publicly as to whether ornot they observed Nilan drinking and if so how much, although Nilan herself has freely admitted being a fan of the sauce.

    • Molly
      January 22, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

      It’s not as though he was wearing all dark clothing and she just didn’t see him — that’s not what happened. She was coming from behind him on the opposite side of the road and she suddenly swerved into the other lane, on the wrong side of the road, and right into him. If he was wearing a police bubble light, it wouldn’t have made a difference! AND THEN SHE LEFT HIM THERE!! And yes, you are STILL trying to blame the victim!!! And it’s disgusting! He was walking his dog – he has every right to do that!

    • Scott
      January 23, 2012 at 5:03 am #

      Even with all that she went on the wrong side of the road and ran him over from behind he could have been wearing all black and it wouldn’t matter the bigger question is why was she driving on the wrong side of the road?

      • Silence Dogood
        January 23, 2012 at 7:39 am #

        and why so fast? OUI? Texting?

  34. HeyNow
    January 23, 2012 at 5:35 am #

    I wish there was a way to bring in a Federal investigator. I am not encouraged that this will get the proper investigation it needs.

    • danvalenti
      January 23, 2012 at 10:01 am #

      HEYNOW
      If there is not a move, fact, locally to investigate this, we must (and will) bring heat to the state and fed levels.

  35. CONCERNED
    January 23, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Why no complaint from Nathan Byrnes. Have heard what he said after decided no complaint. Also another clerk at Berkshire Central Court is being investigated for leaking info to the press. I’ll have more on them two stories soon.

  36. Shakes His Head
    January 23, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    I don’t know too many people that run on-road and don’t wear hi-vis clothing, day or night. If the victim were one of the zombie-shamblers that populates the streets of inner Pittsfield, I would suspect visibility was an issue, but not from someone that actively runs on-road. I’d be very surprised.

    • danvalenti
      January 23, 2012 at 10:00 am #

      SHH
      Excellent. The clothing is a complete irrelevancy.

  37. Joetaxpayer
    January 23, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    @SHH I don’t know to many drivers that drive on the wrong side of the road day or night.Maybe her gps told her she was in Europe.

    • Scott
      January 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

      Well she is blonde maybe the voice got changed and she was confused…