PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary


THE PLANET has been in touch with Andy Poncherello, empressario supreme, regarding the nuts and bolts of the Benefit for Peter Moore.


WHEN: 1-5 p.m., Feb. 26, 2012

WHERE: Chameleon’s Restaurant, East Street, Pittsfield, Mass.

Folks, this is your chance to help Peter Moore, his family, his friends, and his loved ones as Mr. Moore recovers from a near fatal hit-and-run incident. It will also be your chance to step forward and show the Moores and the rest of the world who and what The REAL Pittsfield, Massachusetts truly is.

The REAL Pittsfield is not the fetid tar pit of corruption created by a tiny handful of GOBs. Rather, it is composed of neighbors and neighborhoods — good, hard-working, law-abiding, and decent folks who have reached their tipping point and will no longer keep quiet. They want to reach out in kindness and compassion to a man so terribly wronged.

Please spread the word about the time and date, and let’s do all we can to support Peter Moore, his lovely wife, his family, his parents Susan and Tom, his cousins, and all of the family across the country who are following this case. Let’s show them The REAL Pittsfield.


(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, FEB. 3, 2012) — CONCERNED, a regular contributor to this website, mentioned yesterday that regardless of what Appellate Judge William Hadley decides on the Pittsfield Police Department’s appeal of Westfield Nathan Byrnes’ “not enough evidence to proceed” decision in the Nilan Moore Case, the matter will be active for a long time.

Even if criminal charges are dismissed, you can be all but sure that the Moores will pursue civil damages. In some respects, that wold hold more promise not only for the Moores but for all those who want to see justice done in this case. One difference is that in civil cases, the standard of proof is not as rigorous as in criminal trials, which must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  For conviction in a civil case, the plaintiff’s attorney must establish that “the preponderance of evidence” suggests guilt.

Criminal cases almost always involve a trial by jury. Civil cases generally do not, although some may allow verdict by jury and not judge. Many of the known protections given to defendants in a criminal case (for example, protection against illegal searches and seizures under the 4th Amendment) are not granted in civil cases. From the website, we read:

The Same Conduct Can Produce Civil and Criminal Liability

Although criminal and civil cases are treated very differently, many people often fail to recognize that the same conduct can result in both criminal and civil liability. Perhaps one of the most famous examples of this is the OJ Simpson trial. The same conduct led to a murder trial (criminal) and a wrongful death trial (civil). In part because of the different standards of proof, there was not enough evidence for a jury to decide that OJ Simpson was guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” in the criminal murder case. In the civil trial, however, the jury found enough evidence to conclude that OJ Simpson wrongfully caused his wife’s death by a “preponderance of the evidence”.

Waiting on Da Judge

The first step in a resolution of Nilan-Moore, of course, is doing what PPD Chief Michael Wynn, his department, and We The People are doing: Waiting for Hadley’s ruling. It’s hard to imagine any reasonable jurist or person, for that matter, reviewing the evidence and information in the case and not overturning Byrnes’ ruling. Then again, we are not sitting in judgment and we do not possess all of the information.

Byrnes has not responded to THE PLANET’s requests for comment. He has also not responded the request of Conor Berry of the Springfield Republican. Berry, former star reporter of the Boring Broadsheet who — in stories on alleged child molestation involving Carmen Massimiano and his enterprise work in covering the Angelo Stracuzzi child molestation case stemming from Biddeford, Maine — began shining his star too brightly for the BB’s comfort — revealed this yesterday in his story on the case, posted at the newspaper’s website, Berry’s piece can be read here:

The BB’s loss was the Republican’s gain.

Berry’s story reproduces one of the photos THE PLANET obtained of the vehicle police say Meredith Nilan was driving when she hit Peter Moore, crediting this website. Berry writes:

Moore is the son of Thomas Moore, a retired Hartford police captain. The father has criticized Byrnes’ ruling and says he’s seeking justice for his son.

The Moore family have spoken extensively with Dan Valenti, a Pittsfield native and former newspaper editor who runs a controversial blog, PlanetValenti, that chronicles the good, bad and ugly sides of the Berkshires.

Known for his dogged pursuit of stories involving allegations of corruption and special treatment for Pittsfield’s elite, Valenti latched onto the Nilan-Moore story with a ferocity and hasn’t let go, providing regular updates and beating mainstream media outlets by obtaining official photos of Clifford Nilan’s damaged vehicle.

Berry notes that if Judge Hadley allows the case to “advance to the criminal stage … Meredith Nilan would be arraigned on criminal charges of negligent operation and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.”



In yesterday’s mysterious, non-bylined account of the appeal of Nilan-Moore by the Pittsfield Police, the unknown Boring Broadsheet writer identified Judge Willam P. Hadley as a Springfield District Court judge.

THE PLANET’s search of the Massachusetts Court System website showed no such judge in the Springfield court. We did find the Honorable William P. Hadley, however, safely ensconced in the website’s official listing: There, Hadley is listed as “Associate Justice, Greenfield District Court, 425 Main St., Greenfield, MA 01301.” There, we learn he was appointed to the position by the governor, Mitt Romney, on June 20, 2005.

Also on, the Massachusetts District Court Appellate Division lists five judges in its Western District. There is no Appellate Judge listed for Springfield. There is, however, an entry for “Hon. William P. Hadley (Greenfield) Justice.”

So, either the BB blew an important and easily verifiable fact — OR — the office state website as has incorrect information. Which do you think is the better explanation?

If the BB blew that fact, what else did they get wrong?

Face it: the local daily, which should be championing the rights of a victim such as Peter Moore, has been doing its best to keep the case hidden. It has only begrudgingly run stories on Nilan-Moore because of THE PLANET, the work of Berry and the Republican, and the many citizens who have rallied to the cause, who have forced the BB’s hand.

What a sad excuse for a local daily, a wholly owned subsidiary for the Vested Interests, whose aims are opposed to We The People.



THE PLANET has had further contact from Capt. Tom Moore of the Hartford Police Department (retired), and Peter Moore’s father. We share some of the exchange as follows. Other portions of our communication will be held in confidence, at Capt. Moore’s request:

What you may share if you so choose is that Peter is very knowledgeable of the court system.  For two summers while in college and immediately after graduation Peter was employed as a Special Deputy by the State of Connecticut Circuit Court.  Special Deputies act as Bailiffs.  He knows the functions of defense and prosecuting attorneys as well as judges and juries.  He knows when the system operates correctly and when it does not.  As I have previously mentioned the system did not function correctly in Berkshire County, and that’s what troubles Peter the most.

“The system did not function correctly in Berkshire County, and that’s what troubles Peter the most.”

It’s also what troubles the many good people of Pittsfield and Berkshire County the most, who have been painted by the tar brush wielded by the GOB. As this website has mentioned on several occasions, the “incorrect” functioning of “the system” locally gets at the core of this case.

A Justified Perception: In Pittsfield, ‘The Fix’ Is in for the GOB and out for We The People

Look, at the human level, anyone with a modicum of empathy, compassion, and human decency will regret what has happened to Peter Moore: a broken neck, a broken fibula, nerve damage, head trauma, bruises, contusions, emotional distress, unable to work, etc. From a systemic view, the case assumes an importance of societal dimensions. This case exemplifies the perception that most Berkshire County and Pittsfield residents have about there being two sets of rules: one for the GOBs and one for everybody else.

Ordinary people — the good, decent citizens who live by the rules, keep their nose clean, pay their taxes, and do the living and dying in the community — have come to expect that “the system” will not give them a fair shake … that “the system” is corrupt … that “the system” takes care of its own. The Nilan-Moore case exemplifies the belief in Pittsfield that a fetid tar pit of corruption has made a sad joke of our institutions. The Nilan Moore case reinforces the belief that “The Fix is in.” That is the tragedy here, the fact that good, decent people have — through the machinations of the GOB — lost all confidence in The System. When that happens, only two choices remain: apathy or anarchy.

No well-adjusted person will a priori believe such things. These perceptions of “The Fix is in” do not occur from thin air. People believe this because THEY give them reason to believe it. When “the system” repeatedly acts in a way as to deflate all confidence people can have in it, you get a snapshot of the public’s civic morale as it stands now in Pittsfield, Mass.

‘A Pervasive Poison in the Tar Pitt’

A pervasive poison has circulated in Pittsfield in the past 25 years or so, one which has turned We The People against participation in the government we own. And ladies and gentleman, once “the system” GOBs have manged to suppress turnout, once they infuse enough apathy, they legally seal elections. They can ram through anything they wish (see: The Meteoric Rise of No Show Speranzo, a horror flick now playing though not showing up in the courthouse near you).

Should there be any wonder that Pittsfield, with its rampant corruption, should be unable to attract outside businesses? Is it any wonder that General Dynamics is having a difficult time convincing engineers and other skilled workers to pack up their sorrows and move to … Pittsfield? Who would want to do that? What bright up-and-comer would want to step into the Tar Pitt?


To date, the Boring Broadsheet has yet to print ONE LETTER on the Nilan-Moore Case. It continues to block attempts to discuss Nilan-Moore on its website. It suppresses free and open discussion on this and many other important matters.

THE PLANET, meanwhile, continues to receives several letters each day. Moreover, we have printed hundreds of comments on the case, representing both sides. Several letters we received today were one liners, such as “Journalism at its finest” from UN. There was a longer one, which we share now:

Hi Dan – I just saw Dee’s suggestion of holding a benefit for Peter Moore and think that doing so is both needed and deserved.  Not only would the benefit provide financial assistance, it would allow the members of this community to join together and show their support for him and for the quest for justice in this case. Some of his comments in the article the BB did really bothered me (I don’t blame him for feeling this way, but it bothers me that someone in our community has been forced to feel this way) – namely that The Berkshires no longer feel like “home” and that the ruling of the Assistant Clerk Magistrate made him feel like he had been hit all over again.  I’d like to show him that this community is here for him! And holding a benefit for him and his family would be a great way to do that.

That being said, I don’t know how to connect with the people on this site who would be willing to help with a benefit…  Do you have any suggestions?  Perhaps we can setup a Facebook page for it?  Orrrrrr??? I can, and am willing to, do whatever I can to help organize a benefit — I am very limited as to physical things as I’m a Stage IV cancer patient, getting chemo, and am usually very sick (to say the least) and always in a lot of pain.  BUT – I can do lots of things like making telephone calls and finding a place willing to donate it for this, etc.  

What do you think? — NAME WITHHELD BY THE PLANET

What do we think? We think you are one terrific person, to reach out in this way to the Moores despite your own pain and illness. This, my good friends, is the REAL Pittsfield and Berkshire County. The cesspool created by the GOB is the FAKE Pittsfield, one they have engineered to take care of themselves and screw the rest of you.

We would welcome suggestions from our readers on how best to proceed with a fundraiser or testimonial for Peter Moore and family. THE PLANET will support such an event in any way possible. We couldn’t possibly think about staging it with our current workload, but if some good people want to take leadership, we shall work with you.


Finally, we share this information on hit-and-run cases, furnished by a defense attorney in Massachusetts. Perhaps this information will help educate all of us on aspects of the law in such a case in the Commonwealth:

Leaving the Scene of Personal Injury

If you are accused of leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury, I know you are extremely concerned about what could happen to you. If you are alleged to be involved in a hit and run, the case is much more serious if a person may have been injured, then if it is merely a case of leaving the scene of property damage.

Criminal Charge in Massachusetts? Call [PHONE NUMBER REDACTED].


You can be charged with a hit and run for leaving the scene of injury if you strike a person, walking, a person on a bicycle, or an another car where the people inside the car may have been hurt.

You can be charged with this offense even in cases where no one suffered any significant injures. But the cases can get complicated in court, since the court will want to hear from all interested parties and make sure that the severity of any injury is understood before the case is resolved.

So, it is unlikely that you will be able to quickly plead guilty and get this case resolved immediately.

Leaving The Scene an Accident of Personal Injury – Penalties

Under Massachusetts law, if you leave the scene where you caused a personal injury, you face penalties of up to two years in jail, and fines of up to $1000.

The law calls for a minimum jail sentence of 6 months in jail if convicted, although it can be suspended – meaning you don’t always have to serve the time.

You are also not eligible for a Continuance without a finding, or CWOF in an accident with injury case. You must plead guilty, and not just accept that the evidence is sufficient to find you guilty, which is the standard for a CWOF. This can be a problem for some people who are concerned with having a guilty plea on their criminal record.

You will also face a minimum 1 year loss of your driver’s license. You cannot apply for Massachusetts license reinstatement until one year has passed. It is also possible for the Registry to revoke the registration for any vehicle you own after a guilty finding.

If the injuries are serious enough, the district attorney could also indict you in Superior Court, though this doesn’t happen very often. While the maximum penalties aren’t higher under the statute if the case is heard in Superior Court, judges are much more likely to sentence you at the higher end of the sentencing spectrum.

If you are accused of this charge, whether you were arrested or issued a criminal citation, please contact me immediately. Myself and our firm have handled many leaving the scene charge, both with and without related OUI charges. We can help. Call me now to find out what I can do for you.


Call Now for a Free Criminal Consultation.









  1. Deb S
    February 3, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    This is great Dan…This is the Pittsfield I remember when I was young and people cared about each other…I’m in to help with a benefit for the Moore family.

    • Wally Ballou
      February 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      I am in for the benefit. lets do this, pittsfield, lets do this for the moores and show them the real pittsfield.

  2. Richard
    February 3, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    Well Dan what I would like to know is what steps have been taken so no other hit and run can be pushed under the rug like this one was.

  3. dusty
    February 3, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    would someone like to approach the Spice restaurant people and ask them if they would like to donate their facilities for this benefit? Imagine the good will it would bring them

    And Stanley could donate some movie tickets to raffle off

    and Haddad could raffle off a car

    and Carr hardware a snow blower

    and the Colonial some show tickets

    Yes, Pittsfield Proud…Pittsfield Beautiful pulling together for the good of all

    who will be the first to step up?

  4. Silence Dogood
    February 3, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    You nailed it on the voter apathy in Pittsfield Dan. Maybe Pittsfield has the government it deserves. But this is one party Massachusetts where the last three Speakers of the (State) House have been indicted for one thing or another. And let’s not forget Billy & James Bulger. People in Pittsfield need to learn that their political party isn’t stamped on their birth certificates and they don’t have to vote for the GOB Corruptocracy.

    February 3, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    With all due respect to Saint Dan Valenti, he should stick to writing about baseball and Mitt Romney, stuff he knows about. He’s in over his head here as most yellow journalists are when they try to beat a dead horse. Theres no story here. A man was struck by a driver. The driver came forward voluntarily to the police. A magistrate dismissed the police charges. End of story. Let all involved get on with their lives.

    • Silence Dogood
      February 3, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      OP are you a member of the local GOB hackarama? Which GOB/GOD got you your job? Are you blogging from the jail or the court house. You better get back to work before some Pittsfield public spirited citizen snaps your picture while you screw around on the public dime. They call it theft of time.

    • joe blow
      February 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      Are you the drunk former Mayor who used to throw chicken wing bones over his shoulder at the brewery?

    • Molly
      February 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      And what about Peter Moore’s life, and his quality of life? And the immense physical pain he feels. And the emotional pain he feels. “Just move on people!” KNOW that this community will NOT allow this as it currently stands!

    • Scott
      February 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

      A blond brings her little black dress to the dry cleaners and the attendant say’s “thank you come again!” The blond replies no tooth paste you nosy bitch!”

    • Joetaxpayer
      February 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

      One PITTSFIELD YOU ARE FUNNY.This story is not over,it is only just warming up and the pain it caused Mr.Moore has not subsided.It is being looked at by a judge and after that will go to civil hearing.The driver’s dad is the one who called almost 2 hours after the fact and then proceded to give the police the wrong location of the accident.Her story has many holes in it,thought it was a deer,please of hit a few deer in my day and everytime I knew that it was a deer because I saw the poor thing running across the road.She must have had her head pointing in another direction when she struck Mr.Moore.

  6. Dan Clukey
    February 3, 2012 at 9:13 am #


    While a civil lawsuit might provide an appearance of justice and some financial relief for the Moores, it would hardly punish the Nilans or anyone else involved in the coverup. Insurance companies will pick up the tab for the Nilan’s negligence and that tab will be passed on to the rest of us through our auto insurance premiums, Justice? HAH!

    • Bull Durham
      February 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      Your insurance does not always cover all expenses and judgments in a civil lawsuit. It will only cover what’s listed as the maximum on your policy, and in most instances auto policies for personal injury may not cover the whole tab. If a litigant in a civil suit is awarded pain and suffering damages, your insurance isn’t going to cover that. Anything not covered under insurance comes out of your personal assets. None of us know how this is going to go in a civil suit, or whether it will, but people should know this might not “go away” with insurance dollars.

    • Ray Ovac
      February 3, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      From what I’ve read online, insurance carriers won’t pay defendant’s lawyer’s fees in matters where hit-and-run is a factor.
      Not sure if this is applicable in Mass.

    • dusty
      February 3, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

      it occurred to me that this whole stall thing might have been to give someone time to bury assets…perhaps shunt them off to the Cayman Islands for safe keeping

  7. Still wondering
    February 3, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    People like “One Pittsfield” have no clue as to what the meaning of their words are.

  8. Fahey's boys
    February 3, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    One Pittsfield, I’m guessing I know you, and we both know Cliffy has done more good for this city than a number of people posting here will ever do.

    But this is wrong…dead wrong! Clifford, if you’re reading this, you need to take this thing by the horns and end this garbage. Pete Moore is a good man and the kind of guy you should be known as , too. You deserve better than this, and we’ll respect you even more for taking ownership of this. Loyalty shouldn’t come with such a steep price.

    • Silence Dogood
      February 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

      With what Nilan has done for his daughter and Angelo, he has erased what good he has done for Pittsfield. This case begs the question of who else he has played Doug Henning to. What else has Cliffy made disappear over the years?

  9. Wally Ballou
    February 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    thank you planet for keeping this story alive at least long enough until we get the judges ruling. your dogged reporting is a shining example of how the press should do its job. as for one pittsfield, this person is obviously one of “them.” OP is carrying water for the nilans here.

  10. Silence Dogood
    February 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    poor poor Opie

  11. john
    February 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    my recollection is that conor berry’s wife and brother-in-law were nepotism appointments in the probation department in the springfield area of mass, as their father had been chief at the time. that may give him some inside information on this nilan case, maybe he can flush out the truth.

  12. Scott
    February 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Dan, Did Capt. Moore get Peter his job? Sorry you left it wide open!

  13. Diana
    February 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Like Deb S. I am in to help for a benefit. We really need to do this. Fahey,s Boys like you say Cliff may be a good man who has done much but it is time for him to show true courage and teach his daughter about right and wrong. To take responsibility and do the right thing can help him restore him to the decent man they say he is but to continue to do nothing????? Evil is winning Cliff when good people do nothing.

  14. Scott
    February 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    One of my customers works in the Eagle and I hear she’s losing her job in April because the Eagle is moving her department to Illinois. They want her to train the new employees and not focus on finding a new job in return she gets a seven week severance package. What does this mean for Pittsfield and the Eagle?

    • Joetaxpayer
      February 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

      Who cares about the Eagle.If they go under another paper will take up the slack.Really don’t think they will go under,but might sell off.

      • Scott
        February 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

        I don’t but I care about the people who rely on a job for income.

        • Joetaxpayer
          February 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

          The jobs will move to the new owners,its a wash.Maybe they will do a better job being fair.

          • Scott
            February 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

            Joe the jobs are going to Illinois like I said in my first post it’s already happening.

          • Molly
            February 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

            Although I will be the last person in this world to ever defend The Eagle, and although I can certainly feel for anyone losing their job, especially with the current economy and lack of other jobs, the Eagle’s parent company has a right to consolidate departments to obtain cost savings. The cost savings are likely needed because they truly suck as a newspaper, and they won’t see their profits go up until, as I said yesterday, they begin acting like a “real newspaper” and report on everything, regardless of “WHO” it is.

            What will this mean to Pittsfield? Unfortunately, it means that some of its citizens will lose their jobs. The ramifications to Pittsfield end there. What will this mean to The Eagle? It means that The Eagle is hurting and perhaps they will start acting in a manner that deserves our purchasing the paper!!! Either that, or they will sell it and someone else will take it over and hopefully, they will do a much better job and that newspaper will flourish and hire more people.

          • gEE Whiz
            February 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

            We heard the newspaper, with its parent group in hoc, is in receivership and the admin. will be selling offhassets to pay debt. This will include the Berkshire Eagle. newspaper has been up for sale since first of year. No offers. Look grim. By end of year, there will be no more Eagle.

        • Joe Pinhead
          February 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

          I like many others am saddened for those people who will lose their jobs if / when the Eagle is sold or closes, I hold no one except upper management responsible. I will predict that they tell us all that the swan song began when the Civic authority was defeated.
          I will also hold out hope that a new media outlet who isn’t beholding to the special interest springs up. It might be the Planet or IBerkshires or some collaboration thereof. I find it amazing that in this day and age a media outlet is not able to see just how ripe the market is for good journalistic reporting. The Planet as a case in point. It is amazing that a media outlet who continually rants and rails against Corporate America, Big Business etc, believes that they have no responsibility to its employees, its community or to the market it is supposed to serve, but holds dearly to protecting the politically powerful and the party power brokers.
          Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of marketing should be able to look at the explosion of interest in the Planet and the shrinking share of their own market and realize or at least think out loud, Hey whats going on at the Planet and if we did some real reporting without bias could we replicate that success? Is the BB so beholding to the power elite that they will literally allow themselves to choke to death; rather than deliver real news that their market is thirsting for? Do they really not understand the dynamics of a global electronic reach and the avenues available to them to explore and deliver? It’s kind of interesting that they only need to look east 35 miles to the city of Westfield, once known as whip city to see that if you do not adapt and adopt you will be gone. Sad that they are unable to see the criticism both here and on the street so to speak and don’t or won’t take heed. Who will get the byline for the obituary? Where will it be printed? What will be put down as the official cause of death?

          • danvalenti
            February 3, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

            The byline for the Boring Broadsheet’s obit will be: “Berkshire Eagle Staff.”
            As usual, Joe, you make excellent points. Glad you’re on the side of the law.

          • Molly
            February 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

            Per usual, excellent post Joe!

          • dusty
            February 4, 2012 at 4:48 am #

            you suggest that iberkhires might be a candidate to take over for the Eagle… everyone sure they are not as “connected” as the Eagle?

          • Jeff
            February 5, 2012 at 8:45 am #

            Not sure why, but I always considered I-Berkshires and The BoarIng Broadsheet to be one in the same.

            I will say, I recently subscribed to the Berkshire Record and that Southern Berkshire weekly puts the BB to shame!

            You get EVERYTHING…. Even those that are well connected in the courts. That is where my former Eagle advertising dollars will be going when I get around to it.

    • skier1
      February 4, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

      all billing is being done out of Denver, which makes sense from a business point of view but not for the few that have worked there.

  15. Andy
    February 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    Give me a date and I’ll organize my third benefit in as many months. I am completely behind this. Even with working at BHS and probably having prime health care, he is still going to be in such distressed financial state that I think the community owes it all to Mr. Moore to help him. This could be ANY ONE of us out there for a jog, a walk or even putting out the garbage.

    • Jwbs
      February 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

      Let’s make arrangements for this benefit. Peter Moore and his family are going to need financial help regardless, think about his wife taking time out of her own job to take care of her husband. Set a date a time and let’s get this ball rolling.

      • Jwbs
        February 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

        Lets say Saturday March 3rd?

        • Molly
          February 3, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

          Perhaps we should ask Peter Moore and his family when would be good for them/when they would be able to attend? I’m in for any assistance that I can provide — maybe the suggestion of the facebook page would be good?

          • Deb S
            February 4, 2012 at 7:16 am #

            Wonderful news!!!! I so proud of everyone coming together…you have another helping hand with me if you need help…

        • Andy
          February 3, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

          JWBS, I have the space held for Sunday afternoon Feb. 26, this will give all ages the opportunity to attend than say rather in the middle of the week. The Pete White event I did was very successful and it was actually on a Tuesday but that was a unique situation in that it was a during a week when most people were on Christmas/New Year’s break. I’ll set up a Facebook event once I speak with Mr. Valenti about this. The Pete White event came together in literally a week, but this will require as much planning and the extra days will help get it together.

          • Jwbs
            February 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

            Wonderful where are you planning to hold the event? Please let us know how we can help in any way. Raising money anything.

          • Joe Pinhead
            February 3, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

            I am willing to help as well I can throw in a couple of hours to assist in the organization, let’s start the day out with a Community wide dog walk? Any takers? We can start out at a yet to be determined point in the City, possibly ending up in front of the court house where we could paws for a moment of silent personal reflection about justice for “we the People” then we could take up a small collection to Help the Moore Family ensure that Toby’s contribution and devotion to his friend and companion is not overlooked. Maybe a small plaque at the shelter with a brief description of what occurred and the strength of the devotion and the powerful bond between dog and human would encourage those thinking to adopt to adopt and also make them mindful to the commitment and the responsibility of adopting.

          • danvalenti
            February 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

            Great idea, Joe. I love this aspect of bring in Toby!! THE PLANET shall be in touch.

          • Molly
            February 3, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

            LOVE IT, Joe P.!!!!

            Andy – please let me know how I can help.

    • Scott
      February 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

      You think BHS is kicking in anything?

      • Molly
        February 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

        Yes, I would certainly expect them to, and also I would expect a lot of employees there to attend as well. The question, to me, is will The Berkshire Eagle kick in any free advertisements for it??? Hopefully, they will.

      • Jwbs
        February 3, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

        Joe p! Such a great idea. Yes perfect. Please Andy let us know what te next step in the process is and clearly many people are willing to help!

    • gEE Whiz
      February 3, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

      Thanks. I think I know which Andy this is. Andy P: a good, good man who has answered the call for honest, decent people more than once. Hope this happens. PLanet, you’ve got the “oomph” to run with Andy’s offer. Let’s all rally for Peter Moore. Come on Pittsfield, let’s show them The Real Pittsfield.

      • Molly
        February 3, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

        I agree!!! Let’s show them The Real Pittsfield!!! Come on, people!

        Andy – sounds like a lot of people want to help. Maybe people could volunteer for different aspects, so that you aren’t left to do everything on your own? Please let us know how you would like to do this – we’re all willing!!!

  16. Layla Lady Lay
    February 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    I would like to join those who are asking Cliff to do the right thing. I know he has done a lot of good over the years, fund raisers for the Jimmy Fund, help with all sorts of things. This case, though, has shaken my belief. I know this must be painful for him and his daughter, but I agree with Fahey. We who know you counsel you to give Meredith the most precious and loving lesson a father can. You and she need to come forward with what you know. As you are fond of saying, Cliff, “Fess up.” Sent with (tough) love.

  17. Scott
    February 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    I will donate a $280.00 gift certificate from my business just click on my mysterious orange name for contact details. I did one for the sportsman’s club of Pittsfield recently. How they do it is get business’s to donate then raffle them off at the dinner.

    • Andy
      February 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

      There will be a Chinese raffle (tickets sold and then placed in the bag in front of the item you’d like to win at the event). Please send Dan the information so he can pass it along to me. THANK YOU!!/events/272198382845242/

      • Molly
        February 6, 2012 at 12:19 am #

        Thank you, Andy!!!! Nice facebook page!

  18. Jeff
    February 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    While it’s certainly true that there will be a civil case even if the criminal case never pans out as it should. If Ms. Milan was found criminally responsible on any charge it would make the civil case a whole lot easier to litigate.

    It would be a crime in and of itself, if Ms. Nilan was able to get away without Some criminal finding on this seemingly slam dunk of a case!

    All the best to Peter Moore…. You have more people behind you than you could possibly imagine! Keep your spirits up…. It will certainly be a bumpy road ahead, but there will be justice served here! The vast majority will see to it.

    February 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Many people on here and others have send there best wishes to Peter Moore and his family. People are talking about a benefit . I also have send my best wishes and speedy recovery to Mr. Moore. I would be glad to donate to his benefit.

    Has Ms Nilan called Mr. Moore or a member of his family to wish him a speedy recovery. I would hope so. DAN maybe Capt. Moore can answer that.

    February 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    You noticed I asked if SHE called, not her father or anyone else. She is 24 years old and caused this.

  21. Molly
    February 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    DV: Although “No Probable Cause” Dispositions are automatically sealed, here’s the Mass. District Court rules on public access to the tape recordings of such hearings (from the website:
    Note: I’m looking at Page 44 at a chart that summarizes the various policies on public access.
    “G.L.c. 276 100C: ‘Not Guilty’ or ‘No Probable Cause’ Dispositions: Although 100C provides for automatic sealing, the Pokaski decision held that such records may sealed, or that old records remain sealed, only upon a judicial order accompanied by specific findings that in this particular case sealing is necessary to achieve a compelling government interest that outweighs the public’s First Amendment presumption of access.”

    You (and we) should be able to go to the court and get a copy of the taped transcript (cost for a 1 hour or under transcript is $50.50).

  22. Ray Ovac
    February 3, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    ‘Concerned’, you’re one of the resident legal experts here, and though others have offered excellent responses to these questions, I’m curious as to your opinion:
    Once Associate Justice Hadley was assigned the appeal in the Nilan case, does everything related to it now go before him and him only?
    For example, if Hadley overturns Magistrate Byrnes and orders a new show-cause hearing, or if there eventually are any criminal proceedings, does Justice Hadley automatically preside over all proceedings, motions, etc., or is there possibility that the case is sent back to Pittsfield and a judge there or even back to Magistrate Byrnes?
    Also, if a civil suit is filed by Moore, would that now automatically go before Judge Hadley, or to a judge in Pittsfield?

    Also: Does Allium Bar have any legal liability if Meredith Nilan were to go to trial and if evidence were introduced that it was Allium’s liquor that was a factor in the accident which almost killed Peter Moore?

    • Molly
      February 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

      Ray – my understanding is that Judge Hadley will either:
      – make a decision to uphold Magistrate Byrnes ruling that there is not enough evidence to proceed,hence ending the criminal side of this case
      – OR he can choose to hold his own hearing and yes, he would preside over that and make a decision at its conclusion
      – OR he will rule that there IS enough evidence to continue. At this point, the Chief Justice of the District Court (Lynda M. Connolly) would likely appoint a judge that is not a part of the Berkshire District Court system. I’m sure she can appoint whomever she feels would be best – don’t know if that can/would include Judge Hadley or not. But NO – he does not “automatically” become the judge for this case. And this case will not ever go back to Magistrate Byrnes for anything – Judge Hadley will make a decision and then a JUDGE will be appointed to hear it or the criminal aspect will end.

      As for the civil side, since it would likely still be a part of the District Court system, I would expect that the Chief Justice would again assign a judge outside of the Berkshire District Court system.

      Technically, yes – Allium Bar “could” have some legal liability IF it were found in criminal court that Meredith left there drunk and they were the ones who continued to serve her. But that’s a big IF – it’s hard enough to get liability on a bar even when the evidence is a breathylizer test or blood work. The question that I have is what about BYP, or The Chamber, are they responsible in any way???

      • Ray Ovac
        February 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

        Molly, excellent question concerning BYP/Chamber liability.

  23. Susan Moore
    February 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Dan please thank the individual with Stage IV Cancer who is willing to work on a benefit for Peter. 8 years ago Tom was treated for Stage IV Colon Cancer. Where there is life there is hope! I wish the writer all the best and Tom says to “Fight the Good Fight!” He will also make the trip up from Florida for any event in support of his son. I will get him a warm sweater and some thermal socks.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Ray Molly answered most of your question. On the civil side it depends where it is filed. Also believe on a case like this it would be filed in Superior court, out of town because Cliffy works in this Superior Court. A good lawyer would know for sure the correct answers however.

    I would guess (only guess) a civil suit will be filed. Then the insurance company would try to settle out of court.

    • Molly
      February 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

      I’m SO sorry! I just noticed that he specifically asked you these questions! And I jumped in with all of my opinions! Truly sorry – I didn’t see that he addressed it to you… My apolgies. And sorry, Ray.

      • Ray Ovac
        February 4, 2012 at 3:34 am #

        Molly, Concerned: Thank you both for your answers. The reason I asked was because in federal practice, it’s not unusual to see the original judge who is assigned an unusual case or complex litigation be the one who then handles various off-shoots of a matter rather than waste precious court time bringing a second judge up to speed on all the various aspects. I wasn’t sure if the same practice occurred at the state court level.

    February 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    On the bar, less not forget she has not been charged with DWI nor will she ever. Thats past no matter who would say she was drinking. The evidence if any was in her (breath test, blood test ) are gone. However the drinking (if any) could be bought up in civil suit. The bar could be sued, but what I know about the case, that would be a long shot, but never know.

  26. danvalenti
    February 3, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    We should also be clear that the initial criminal charges filed by the police did not meet the satisfaction of the magistrate in the Jan/ 12 hearing. The police appealed. So as of now, Ms. Nilan’s legal status is in limbo. The magistrate’s ruling did not revoke the charges. it just says that in the opinion of Nathan Byrnes, there’s not enough evidence to take the case to trial. The appeal “suspends” the Byrnes ruling. The decision by the appellate judge will confirm Byrnes or not. At that point, she either avoids a criminal trial or she does not. That it our best understanding. The charges do not include DUI. No one can legally make that claim nor should they. As CONCERNED said, she wasn’t charged with that and there’s no evidence to support that. Only she knows how much, if anything, she drank that night. She could be asked that question in a criminal or civil trial, under oath, I suppose.

    The other question is how much money would the Nilans be willing to pay to settle out of court, should there be either a criminal case (i.e., Judge Hadley upholds the PPD appeal) or a civil suit. That might be a ponderous sum, if, and we only say IF, Clifford Nilan does not want to testify, under oath, about his actions, not only in this case but others that an impartial judge might find relevant.

    • Ray Ovac
      February 4, 2012 at 3:40 am #

      Molly, Concerned, and DV, while one can of course settle a civil case out of court, can settling out of court be said to apply to criminal cases?

    • dusty
      February 4, 2012 at 4:58 am #

      and if Cliff did not want to testify under oath, and wanted settle out of court so as not to implicate others in possible cover up matters, do you think money might come out of the woodwork to help pay off an out of court settlement?

    • Scott
      February 4, 2012 at 5:35 am #

      Yeah but you’re forgetting even of she is charged criminally reversing the decision she can still cut a deal and plea bargain out.

    February 3, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Dan I would guess that if its a civil suit as it would stand now, the insurance company will be the one paying. However depends how the lawyers go after this I would guess.

    • Molly
      February 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

      That depends on their insurance coverage, does it not? Take a look at your automobile insurance coverage page – it gives limits per accident on it. Some people I know have taken out a million dollar balloon policies – if Nilan has something like that, then that would also come into play. But Massachusetts laws relating to personal injury accidents are very, very complicated. I believe that Massachusetts has a limit on personal injury payments of $250,000. The lawyer gets 1/3 of that ($83,000+) leaving a total of $167,000. Not much if you’re talking about years without your salary and lots of medical bills. But all of this is way more than I could even begin to know about. I do know that my brother-in-law was very seriously injured in an accident that the other driver was found to be totally at fault for. People thinks that they can file a civil suit and get a LOT of money – even take their house. Not in Massachusetts. So I don’t know if Mr. Moore will eventually be compensated for his injuries, pain, loss of wages, etc. – usually in Mass., that’s not the way it happens…

  28. Beacon Hill Mob
    February 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    Where will one find, “an impartial judge”, in mASSachusetts?

    That is like looking for an (unfallen) Angel in HELL.

  29. rick
    February 4, 2012 at 3:24 am #

    a lesson to be learned here folks is that no matter how much we love our kids, and we will do anything to help them, wrong is wrong. some times we need to let them take the fall to make them stronger in character. any of you with children out there, take a minute and think what you would do for your kids. have some compassion and move on, there so many other things going on to complain about that effect your lives…the dollar store,pcbs,pot holes,gobs, gass prices, food prices….

  30. Ray Ovac
    February 4, 2012 at 3:45 am #

    Molly, Concerned, had Nilan been drunk but had she stopped and called police and waited at the accident site, what would have been the most she could have been charged with, and what would have been the maximum penalty assuming a DUI first offense?

    • Molly
      February 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

      It would have elevated the charges to being felony charges. But as Concerned and DV said, that is past – it’s done. There isn’t any proof of that. Even if there are witnesses, it’s not enough and no DA in their right mind would bring those charges because they couldn’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, thus forcing a jury to find “not guilty” (as many believed what happened in the Casey Anthony trial).

  31. Ray Ovac
    February 4, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    DV, Molly, Concerned,
    This from the BB today (Saturday)
    ‘Driver pleads guilty in collision with propane tank’
    “On Friday, Judge Paul M. Vrabel ordered Lacosse serve a year of probation and attend an alcohol driver education course. The defendant’s license was suspended for 45 days as well. A charge of negligent operation of a motor vehicle was continued without a finding for one year.The plea came after a motion to dismiss the case was denied by Judge Rita S. Koenigs. Lacosse has no prior record, according to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office.”

    In the LaCrosse DWI, there obviously was no personal injury, but using this first offense sentence as a guide, it’s possible that had Nilan simply stayed at the accident site and called police, she would have gotten off relatively unscathed legally.
    If only, eh? It all just goes to show what can happen if one runs away and engages in a cover-up, if that’s what happened here.

    • Jeff
      February 5, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Not to play Devils Advocate, but I don’t believe they are comparable situations. Nilan – Moore was certainly a potential vehicular homicide and the propane incident was property damage.

      I do agree with the premise, that this sheds light on Ms. Nilan and her father Cliffs character. If the allegations are true, (which certainly appears beyond a shadow of doubt in my mind) it doesn’t speak well of their moral/ethical character!

      • Ray Ovac
        February 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

        Yeah, at least driver LaCrosse had the decency to stay with the propane tank after he hit it.

  32. Dee
    February 4, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    I am so unbelievably impressed with this site (yet again). When I suggested a benefit on Thursday I never would have expected that within two days it would blossom the way it has. As disillusioned with the process as I am, I am encouraged by the willingness the people on this blog to help and support this family.

    I also would like to know what I can do to help. Is there an individual one should call to offer their time or a F/B link? Now is the time to put the talk aside and move into action.

    • Scott
      February 4, 2012 at 5:37 am #

      I like the dog walk idea I’m down with all of it. I hope as soon as it’s organized DV posts detailed information on all events.

    • Layla Lady Lay
      February 4, 2012 at 10:58 am #

      Dee yes. You are the one who started this and The Planet ran with it, it shows how influential this site has become. It’s almost like an electronic “Occupy” site for the 99% of Pittsfield fighting the 1% GOB who control 99% of the wealth and power and use it to their ends and not for the good of the people. When the Eagle folds I hope somehow this website and iBerkshires can move into the breach.

    • Molly
      February 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      Yes – please let us know. There are a lot of people who want to help organize it, not just be informed here when it’s all organized. Please let us know when you have a list of things that people can volunteer to do. THANKS!!!!

  33. Concern
    February 4, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Ray. The bottom line if you hit someone as in this case, you stop and assist that person. The assist could be calling for help, getting out and comfort the person. I would say if it wasn’t for Mr. Moore being in great shape, this would have been a manslaughter case.

    Ray also each case can be handled different in court, you can plea out, go to trial with jury, or in front of Judge. You can be fined, continued without finding, go to jail etc. etc. Bottom line this is where this case belongs.

    • Layla Lady Lay
      February 4, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      When I look at the photos of the damage of the car, I can’t understand why the driver didn’t get out immediately. Pull off to the side of the road, and phone police. The damage plus impact HAD to be obvious that there was a potential fatality (animal vegetable mineral or HUMAN). If she had done that instead of running away, which appears that she did, things would have been much easier for her and her father as it turns out. Lesson: Young adults: Own up to your responsibilities as an adult. Parents of young adults: Teach your children to take that responsibility. Has Cliff Nilan done that?

      • Scott
        February 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

        it’s like corporations dump toxic poison because the fine for getting caught is less then the cost of disposing it properly in accordance with the law.

        • Irvin Corey
          February 5, 2012 at 5:28 am #

          If you are refering to GE they actually had a permit ro discharge PCB waste into the Housatonic from the City of Pittsfield.

          • Scott
            February 5, 2012 at 8:21 am #

            Oh Jesus here we go no buddy that’s standard practice for big business and the “we didn’t do anything illegal excuse” is a poor one because we all still have moral obligations to our communities and nature.

          • Dave G
            February 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

            they did not have a permit to dump in the river. they had a paper excusing them because they could not stop it from going in the river

          • Irvin Corey
            February 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

            Wasn’t making an excuse for GE jus6t explaining what happened

  34. LP
    February 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    I would like to commend Dan Valenti and this website for helping Mr. Moore and his family cope with their situation. Peter Moore did not deserve what he got at the hands of a reckless driver, and without this site it would have all been swept under the rug. I will be attending the 2/26 event. Thanks to all who will be making it happen. For once, something Pittsfield can be proud of.

  35. Irvin Corey
    February 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    Perhaps someone else was driving and she was a passenger and the driver was in some way distracted???????????

  36. Ray Ovac
    February 4, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Irwin Corey, it also has yet to be explained how Meredith Nilan got back from Great Barrington to Pittsfield that evening. If the lady couldn’t drive 1000 feet without running into Peter Moore, how did she ever manage to go the 23 miles from Railroad Street to Winesap Road?

    • Scott
      February 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm #


  37. Grumpy
    February 5, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    The way to get the word out in regards to the benefit, would be to place posters in the store front windows of business on North St., & around Park Square. There are many people out there who no
    nothing of this tragedy.

  38. Joetaxpayer
    February 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    GO PATS!

  39. Susan Moore
    February 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Dan there is a link on Facebook for the wonderful benefit for Peter. People can find it by searching for Rebel Sound Records and clicking on the Wall. Tom sent in a photo of himself with Peter in the hospital and Peter’s step daughter, Kadey, has posted a great photo of Toby and one of the family this summer the weekend of her wedding I think. She will be at the event and as of the last time I looked 22 people had said yes, 10 maybes and over 700 had been invited! Darn I wish one of us didn’t need to stay here as this sounds like it will be a terrific testimony to community involvement in the best possible way!

  40. Kadey
    February 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    That is the facebook event link. Hopefully it works. I am Peters stepdaughter Kadey. I added a few pictures of our family and Toby! Thanks again to everyone supporting our family it means a lot.

  41. Susan Moore
    February 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    You can also find the site on Facebook just by entering Benefit for Peter Moore! Kadey has posted more photos and now over 800 people have been invited. This is really taking off. Thank you Pittsfield.

  42. Diogenes
    February 5, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    The dog walk, as well as the benefit, are beautiful ideas. Please tell me that you all will consider holding it in “The Orchards” neighborhood, ie: Winesap Ave. In the tradition of the “Take Back the Night” movement, supporters can walk through the area of the crime. Maybe that will “bring home” to the Nilans how seriously people are taking this. (As if they don’t already know)

    • Ray Ovac
      February 6, 2012 at 8:35 am #

      Wouldn’t a ‘Take Back the Night’ type “walk through the area of the crime” by supporters require a parade permit from the City of Pittsfield? My guess is there’d be a police presence in front of 72 Winesap Road for obvious reasons.

      • Ray Ovac
        February 6, 2012 at 8:39 am #

        If there were to be any kind of walking event, it would be newsworthy and there should be press contact made in advance to local TV and Radio media including stations in Albany, Springfield and Boston in order to alert same that a public outdoor event is scheduled.

      • Diogenes
        February 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

        Yes, you are probably right. I hadn’t thought it through enough. What would be the chances of obtaining such a permit? Slim to none? Do you think that a permit would be issued for a “dog walk” no matter where it’s held, within City limits? If I had a dog, could I casually announce to a few friends that I planned to walk him in that area on a certain date and informally meet up with a few dozen other dog walkers without it being a “formal” event? Ah, but then there would be no press coverage, which wasn’t my initial goal but it would be sweet if came to be. Initially, I just wanted to rub the Nilan’s noses in the mess they made and provoke some feelings of guilt on their part. I guess that would be like getting blood from a stone, wouldn’t it?

        • Ray Ovac
          February 7, 2012 at 1:29 am #

          Diogenes, seeking an official parade or march permit puts city officials squarely in the political bulls-eye on this whole matter, a subject which we already know the GOB’s and the Eagle are plainly trying to cover-up. Once outside of Chameleons, a licensed venue, a large gathering of people parading down the street is likely to need a permit or the cops may have grounds to turn the group around and tell them to go elsewhere or to disperse. Seems to me that a parade permit should at least be requested if there’s any thought whatsoever of the group attending the benefit taking a trek over to Winesap. Given that this whole thing is political dynamite, would city hall dare to refuse such a permit and on what grounds? It would also force the new mayor to take a public stand on an issue about which he has been mighty quiet. Seeking a parade permit is definitely a good way to get this whole matter front and center in the public agenda and to force City officials and the Eagle into the center of this maelstrom.

          • Diogenes
            February 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

            Thanks for your response. I’m just wondering when our right to assemble was vacated, unless we have the appropriate “permit”, thus being subjected to possible police dispersion? When is this campaign to take away our rights ever going to end? Permits needed for Trick-or-Treaters in groups of 5 or more? No Live on the Lake w/o a permit, or do they have one for that? Do sewing or knitting bees need to have a permit?

            As to the subject at hand: who would be the person responsible for applying for the permit for a dog walk? Would there have to be an estimated “head count” or a limit on the number of heads (or paws)? I would love to see this bring this whole debacle to the forefront and perhaps we’d get a better idea of the new Mayor’s true colors. We already know the true color of our other illustrious “pillars”: yellow!

  43. Layla Lady Lay
    February 6, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    A lot of people responded big time. This is the Berkshire County I know. Will be there.

  44. Shakes His Head
    February 6, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    The Ann Arbor daily went to a mostly online format, and that city is five times the size of Pittsfield.

  45. four in one
    February 6, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    The Eagle in print doesn’t have a year left. It on the market. No buyers. Company in receivership. Glad I don’t work there.

    • dusty
      February 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      Perhaps someday we can have a benefit and raise enough money to buy the Eagle property. Then in the name of the 1st amendment we can have it torn down and put up a headstone. On the tombstone it could read…”Here lies big Brother”