NEARI worker accused of impersonating state rep
Updated: Wednesday, 01 Dec 2010, 6:12 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 01 Dec 2010, 6:11 PM EST
WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – Court documents obtained by the Target 12 Investigators shed new light on the arrest of an official for the National Education Association of Rhode Island.
NEARI assistant executive director John Leidecker pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of creating a fake email account to impersonate outgoing State Representative Doug Gablinske.
He was arrested after Bristol and Rhode Island State Police raided both his home and office.
Search warrants obtained Wednesday by Target 12 reveal the contents of the some of the emails Leidecker is accused of writing while police say he was posing as Rep. Gablinske.
One email references Gablinske’s opposition to tolls on the Mount Hope Bridge:
I realize that increasing the tolls on the Mount Hope Bridge may have a negative impact on you, but I’m a STATE representative, Do you understand? STATE representative, not just the representative of the Mount Hope Bridge. I was elected to think about the bridges of Central Falls, too.”
Another, sent days after Gablinske lost in the September primary, makes reference to leaf bags the representative gave out during the campaign season, according to police:
“Walter, Do you want to buy some trash bags? I’ve got $9,000 worth in my garage. Dougie.”
Court documents also show that police contacted Google to figure out who was sending the phony emails. Gmail says the subscriber created the account using John Leidecker’s union email address as a back-up.
The account in question was created on September 10th, four days prior to Gablinske’s primary loss at the polls.
It is still unclear how many emails were sent from the phony email account.
The search warrant also shows that police removed 23 computer items from Leidecker’s home and NEARI headquarters, both in Cranston.
The equipment is being analyzed by Rhode Island State Police.
So HYPOTHETICALLY if I were to set up an email account pretending to be Bob Walsh or Leidecker it would be a poor prank, right? So if I sent an emailing pretending to be either of you saying, “I realize that the 26th ranked public education system we have in Rhode Island may have an impact on you, your children, and our future, but I’m an executive at the TEACHER’S union. Do you understand? TEACHER’S union, not just the representative of local children,” it would just be a practical joke?
Ok. Just as long as Bob Walsh and I have an understanding as to what is despicable political tampering and what is a prank.
IF ONLY this were a historically conservative group carrying out the misdeeds that are alleged of NEARI, man! Heads would roll and the Providence Journal and “RI Future” would be the Ronaldos driving those heads down the field.