Thursday, June 03, 2010

State of Maine v. Angelo Stracuzzi

What The Berkshire Eagle Fails to Report
by G.M. Heller

The Berkshire Eagle has had the following information since Tuesday, June 1 regarding Angelo C. Stracuzzi's recently exposed (by The Eagle itself in an article published May 30) run-in with police in the coastal town of Biddeford, Maine in July 2004.

Mr. Stracuzzi is president and C.E.O. of Greylock Federal Credit Union and served for many years on the Pittsfield City Council both as a councilman and as that governing body's president.

Angelo C. Stracuzzi, president and C.E.O.,
Greylock Federal Credit Union

According to York County Superior Court records, Biddeford Police charged Mr. Stracuzzi with 'Patronizing Prostitution of a Minor' - Class D, 'Assault & Battery' - Class D, and 'Criminal Mischief' - Class D.

In two separate cases filed with the York County Superior Court, Mr. Stracuzzi was charged with the same three identical counts in each case.

The criminal complaints stemmed from separate incidents occurring a day apart, each incident involving a different underage male.

The first incident took place July 26th, 2004 (Criminal Docket No. 05-194) and was reported to Biddeford Police that same evening at 9:36 P.M..

The second incident occurred July 27th (Criminal Docket No. 04-2288) and appeared on the police blotter at 10:00 P.M. same night.

The boys' ages at the time were approximately 15 and 13 years-old, respectively.

Responsive to a Biddeford Police detective's investigation of the two separately filed incident reports, a summons was issued to Mr. Stracuzzi to appear in Biddeford District Court the following month and answer to the above-stated criminal charges.

Biddeford is about the same size as Pittsfield, Massachusetts and located on Maine's southern coast less than two hours north of Boston.

Maine's legal system specifies five classes of crimes ranging in descending order of severity from Class A to Class E.

Mr. Stracuzzi was being charged with Class D criminal misdemeanors.

To defend him, Mr. Stracuzzi hired criminal defense attorney Sarah Churchill, of the law firm Strike, Goodwin & O'Brien of Portland, Maine. "This firm", according to its Web site, "is engaged exclusively in the practice of criminal law including murder, all felony charges, OUIs, domestic violence, and all related misdemeanor matters."

Attorney Churchill "has handled several high profile criminal matters," according to her Web page, "including murder and gross sexual assault. Her area of practice focuses on criminal trial litigation."

SG&O's Web site also proclaims, "Our goal is to offer each and every one of our clients unparalleled service and dedication to ensure we reach a satisfactory resolution to your case. Should the State be unwilling to resolve your case to your satisfaction, we stand prepared to take the matter to trial."

At his arraignment in Biddeford District Court in August, 2004, Mr. Stracuzzi entered a plea of Not Guilty and requested trial by jury.

The matter was marked up for trial and ultimately transferred to York County Superior Court in Alfred, Maine, the county seat, 13 miles west of Biddeford.

In May 2005, state prosecutor Jeff Moskowitz (now a Maine state court judge) agreed to drop one of the cases against Mr. Stracuzzi along with one of the charges in the remaining case in exchange for Mr. Stracuzzi's guilty plea.

Presiding Judge G. Arthur Brennan accepted Mr. Stracuzzi's guilty plea and, according to The Berkshire Eagle, "On May 25, 2005, Stracuzzi was sentenced in York Superior Court to a 364-day suspended jail sentence and one year of probation after admitting to the misdemeanor charges."

What The Eagle conveniently and inexplicably omits in its report was that Judge Brennan also ordered Mr. Stracuzzi to get "Psychological evaluation, and counseling as needed".

This was a specific condition of Mr. Stracuzzi's probation.

Another probation condition not reported by The Eagle was that Mr. Stracuzzi was to have no contact with either of the two boys, both of whose names are listed on Judge Brennan's no contact order.

It is not publicly known yet whether the Massachusetts Probation Department saw to it that Mr. Stracuzzi obtained the psychological evaluation and counseling ordered by Judge Brennan.

It also is not publicly known yet exactly what Mr. Stracuzzi told his employers, the board of directors at Greylock Federal Credit Union (if indeed he told them anything at all at the time), but it appears that when Mr. Stracuzzi did finally acknowledge to the board his run-in with Biddeford Police, he was less than candid with boardmembers regarding the nature of the original charges against him as well as the subsequent probation conditions set by the Court.

Coincidentally, one of the few officials in Berkshire County having direct and authorized access to Mr. Stracuzzi's entire probation file (after it was transferred to Massachusetts from Maine's Department of Corrections under the Interstate Compact), and whose official responsibility as part of his day job was to be aware of the probation files of offenders under his legal juridiction, was none other than longtime GFCU boardmember Clifford Nilan, the bank's former chairman, who also, according to GFCU's 2009 annual report, "is Chief Probation Officer of Berkshire Superior Court".

[Editor's 24-hour late-breaking update: The board of directors of Greylock Federal Credit Union met with outside counsel on Friday, June 4, 2010 (from a law firm outside Berkshire County not affiliated with any local Berkshire law firms). Mid-afternoon, the board issued the following statement: "The directors of Greylock Federal Credit Union have accepted Angelo Stracuzzi's resignation from the Board of Directors and we have placed him on an administrative leave of absence from his position as CEO, while the board completes a full investigation of potential conflicts of interest. The Board has also accepted the resignation of Director Cliff Nilan. The board took its actions with full appreciation for the years of dedicated service and achievement under their leadership. We have full confidence in the ability of our senior management team to maintain Greylock's standards of excellence. Credit Union members will continue to receive the same level of outstanding service."<<<]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your efforts, Mr. Heller. I only wish the Berkshire Eagle could have done the work and enlightened the community on their own. It is disheartening to be reminded yet again of their craven disregard for the people they purport to inform and protect.

Saturday, June 05, 2010 7:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice work Glenn. Supposedly The Pittsfield Gazette finally broke the "whole" story. It's not online, and I have not seen the print.

Saturday, June 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monday, June 14, 2010 4:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can run to the Jersey Shore but we will follow you till you giant ego takes over and you start trying to run things, Then.. Every boardwalk and telephone pole will have your filthy face on it complete with you dirty exploits. You Suck And We Will warn the good people of New Jersey about you!!! YOU WON"T GET AWAY FROM THIS IF I CAN HELP IT! SKUNK!!!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010 2:32:00 AM  

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