How I was arrested for reporting a crime

By Rick McNamara
 On July 1, 2004 I reported to the Windsor Police Department and provided two videotapes that exposed Fred Wynter’s recording the undressing of Shawna Bertrand and Kelly Mathews without their consent during a modeling shoot for a new jewelry company. On September 24th, 2004 the Windsor Police raided my apartment at 21 Lovell Avenue. They processed a Search and Seizure Warrant. The Warrant stated that I had possession of “evidence of the following offence… Disseminating Voyeuristic Material, in violation of CGS 53a-189b.” All of my business computers, files and field tools (repair software) were seized. Nearly one year later these charges were dismissed. My equipment was returned in various degrees of disrepair. While the failure of a hard drive and other hardware failures are expensive to repair, I am especially disturbed by the removal of files from my PC’s. Most troubling was the removal of e-mails I made to the Mayor of Windsor, CT, Don Trinks from the period of July 1, 2004 (When I reported the Crime) to the date that my computers where seized on September 24th, 2004. How I came to be involved is easily explained. Why anyone would want to convict me of such a terrible crime is either a mistake or malicious.

I have always thought of myself as an Artist. That is my profession. in order to survive most artists have to be an expert at a great many occupations. One of my aspirations was to run a TV Station. In 1999 I was the Manager of Windsor Community Television, a local cable access station. I also was a web developer and VAR for the ISP TIAC (The Internet Access Company). While I was station manager I knew that a web presence for the Station was very important. I used my account with TIAC to provide Windsor Community Television with a web presence. For about three months I tried to get the Board of Windsor Community Television to get behind my efforts, unfortunately they never had enough members at the meetings to reach a quorum.

During this time I had to provide my own equipment to do “field work”. This meant supplying cameras to videotape events throughout the Town of Windsor from my own small video company. If I had not provided the equipment, these events would have never been recorded. I was not forced to do this; I just thought that during the long periods between the Board Meetings that we (The Station and Management) should not seem ineffectual.

The Board of Windsor Community Television was dysfunctional. Each Board Member had conflicting agendas and each Board Member expected me to do exactly as I was instructed which would typically be to carry out some function and then explain to another Board Member that I was doing what I had been told at which time I would be told to undo whatever I had started and do something else. I had become a one man proxy war. Eventually the rift between the board and myself resulted in my forced resignation. With a gun to my head-I quit. This was during the Thanksgiving Holiday – I had already been living from hand to mouth and now there was no income from which I could support my family. To get any type of compensation I signed a Gag Order (I was not to disclose the events surrounding my “resignation”) and in return I received about one month’s pay (about $260/week for four weeks).
 

 

After I “resigned” I was allowed to conduct a very popular TV Call In Show that Don Trinks (the future Mayor of Windsor) and Myself broadcast, but a few months later the show was subject to Station Censorship and later cancelled. After my show was canceled I decided that I would no longer support the Station by donating my domain name www.wintv.org to Windsor Community Television. When the Board found out that they had to secure their own name they were furious and threatened me with both legal and (in the case of one of the Board Members) physical punishment. I used the domain name to publish my Station Manager Reports, the Gag Order they made me sign and the attendance records of the Board. After about two months I just got tired of it all. I took down the site and “parked” the domain name.

While the Windsor Community Television Board was angry with me, I enjoyed tremendous support by the Town of Windsor, The Chamber of Commerce and the Democratic Town Committee. I made several videos for the Town and the Chamber. I also developed and ran a web site for the Non Profit Shad Derby Committee and in three years I was able to raise about $75,000 ($60,000 while I was a chairman). About two years after I left Windsor Community Television I was asked to help the Government to run the Government’s Access channel.

In the early days of Cable Television the State of Connecticut allowed Cable Providers run a virtual monopoly provided that the Cable Providers let each of their Town’s have access to the system to provide alternative programming (and Cable Providers were to provide funding). These Access Stations are called PEG (Public, Education and Government) Stations. Before I was the Station Manager at Windsor Community Television they would broadcast the same programs on all three Stations. I changed that by assigning each channel a different task, in other words I followed the guidelines that we were legally bound to. The Government Channel broadcast Town Meetings and information issued from the Town Hall or other Government Agencies.

The Town Council had grown more and more dissatisfied with the level of service they received after I left and after two years finally decided to take over the Government Channel. I was contacted by Enita Jubrey, assistant to the Town Manager, to write a white paper on how to run the Government channel, what equipment and requirements were needed. I was told by Enita and the newly elected Mayor, Donald Trinks (My Talk Show co-host) that there would be a lot of video work I would be doing after the Government Channel got going.

Both the Town Budget issues regarding the Government Channel and the Town accepting the responsibilities passed easily. However, when I contacted Enita she flatly denied that the Budget for my video work was passed. She said my part of the budget was cut. It would be a year later that I would find out she lied to me, I also would find that my good friend Donald Trinks and the then Town Manager, Leon Churchill had lied to me.

2003 was a terrible year for us. The house we were renting was next to a Liquor Store and there was a massive amount of Heroin being sold in our driveway. The police were there constantly. Our business suffered greatly as no one wanted to go to our office. There were several violent confrontations and we decided that we better get out. We sold a lot of our stuff and I had a box of Lighting and some computer equipment (parts, cables) that I just did not want to move. I called Fredrick Wynters, an employee of Windsor Community Television and asked him if he wanted the items for free. While I had issues with the Board of Windsor Community Television I was very proud of the work I did at the Station and got along pretty well with the staff. I figured they could use this donation.

Fred came with a young lady that appeared to be a little older than he. When I mentioned the Government seemed to be doing a good job with the Government channel the woman got visibly upset. As I continued that I thought the Educational Channel should also be under the care of the Educational Community she became somewhat more agitated and Fred picked up his box of stuff and stormed out. I shared with Suzanne that I could not understand what they were upset about and I thought at the very least Fred should have thanked me. What I did not know is that the woman was Fred’s Boss (she was on the Board of Windsor Community Television) and rumored lover.

Once we got settled in what was to be our temporary home till my daughter graduated in June of 2004 (we moved Thanksgiving 2003) I received a phone call from a very jittery Don Trinks.

“We have a problem”, Don said.

“What problem do we have?” I said.

Don explained that in order to secure the Government Channel that he made a deal to have me blacklisted from ever working for the Town. If Windsor Community Television ever got word that I produced a video or provided any service for the Town of Windsor, they would pull the Government Channel. I was flabbergasted. Don sent me the contract and a letter from Windsor Community Television stating that the Town had broken the contract by hiring me. I said to Don that I was confused; all the work that was promised to me never came to be. How could Windsor Community Television think that I was getting any work when just the opposite had occurred? I also said that I was very unhappy that Enita had lied to me. I did not fully realize that everyone had lied to me.



I explained to Don that he was legally entitled to run the Government Channel. He did not want to take my word for it. He asked me to provide him with the proof. Windsor Community Television was demanding approximately $60,000 in funding or they would take the Government Channel away from the Town.


During this time period I began receiving minutes from the Windsor Community Television Board Meetings and letters written by Mr. Pickens, director of Windsor Community Television. The papers outlined the mind of the Board and their disposition towards me. It was not flattering, Adolph Hitler would have been more welcome at a Bar Mitzvah than I at the Station. I did not know the source of these documents. They came to me via another ex-employee of Windsor Community Television, Mark Bombard.

Mark worked for me and when I was fired from Windsor Community Television our friendship deteriorated into one of constant dispute. I felt betrayed by him as when he had the opportunity to help me out, he choose to use the situation to help himself to an advanced position at Windsor Community Television and a significant raise. However when he found himself having to deal with the Board directly he began to realize that I was correct about many of the issues I had with the Board. In the two years that I had been gone, Mr. Pickens used his position to move friends and relatives on to the Board. He and his son Clark ran the Station and his daughter in law ran the office. The new President of the Board, Bill Morse had a music/talk show that ran about eight times a week. Spending was at an all time high. Clark and Bill started a web site to solicit funds for the Music Show. The Station also had a credit card and used it to provide equipment and funding for the show. Bill Morse was completely at ease with his newfound position and ran the Station as his own private enterprise. The Pickens enjoyed three incomes from the Station. When Bill was addressing some folks who volunteered to work for the station (which meant pretty much working on his Music Show) he frequently used the term “nigger”, especially when he was drinking. This did not endear him to Fred (who is black) and was really the last straw for Mark Bombard. Mark reported Bill to the Board for misuse of Station funds and was promptly fired.

Mark was very angry and called me to apologize and to tell me his story. Over the next few months he would try, unsuccessfully, to get his job back by contacting HACTAC (an overseer of the Cable Providers) and various agencies. Shortly thereafter Mark started to provide me with documents from Windsor Community Television. It would be months before I found out that these documents where taken from Windsor Community Television’s garbage by a Custodian who worked at the facility that housed Windsor Community Television. That individual was Dave LaPointe, an old friend of my wife’s, a guy I had gotten friendly with while I was at Windsor Community Television and the person who would eventually become the fall guy.

After Don Trinks had confessed about the Government Channel Contract I received documents from the Board of Windsor Community Television that outlined their plan. They indicated that they really just wanted the money and had no intention to honor the contract. During the months that followed the press picked up on the story. The part that prevented me for working for the Town of Windsor was now dubbed the Rick Clause. Now why I still wanted to help the Town and Don Trinks is because I am somewhat naive. I thought if I did the right thing that some good would come from it, like some work. Like I say, I am naďve. I provided Don with the information he asked for. I contacted the lawyers for Comcast and they agreed that the Town was doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing, running the Government channel. Comcast even said that the Town was entitled to one third of the revenue for taking responsibility.

When I told Don this he asked me to meet with the Town Manager. The meeting went well and the then Town Manager; Leon Churchill commended me for my civic duty. He met with Comcast and later resigned to take a higher paying position elsewhere. His popularity was waning as he had left during a terribly executed tax hike and kept a dump open that was to be capped years before, which enraged many of the citizens. Nothing had been done to resolve the Windsor Community Television situation and the Board of Windsor Community Television had to get in line to press their issues as the huge tax hike was now on the front burner.

A few months pass and Don once again urges me to supply him with information. I express my surprise that nothing had been done. While the Rick Clause was removed from the contract, little progress was being made and the documents I was receiving from Windsor Community Television’s janitor indicated that the Board was resolved to pull the Government Channel regardless of any contract “If Rick rears his head”. Once again I make the calls, gather the Documents and arrange a meeting with Comcast as Don asked. This time though I made sure that I would be at the meeting, that the Mayor would be at the meeting and that the Republican Minority would also be represented.



By this time I had found out that Dave LaPoint was the connection to the documents Mark had been getting. Still sure that Don Trinks was someone I could trust, I told him the source of the documents obtained from Windsor Community Television’s garbage as Don was somewhat worried about the authenticity of the documents. Don knew exactly who Dave LaPoint was from the many times he appeared at Windsor Community Television Studios at LP Wilson. LP Wilson, a one time Junior High School now housed Windsor Community Television, The Board of Education, The Recreation Department and a Senior Center. Dave worked the evening shift and usually closed the facility and would come in contact with Don often.

In June of 2004 Windsor Community Television’s Board seemed hopelessly entrenched to Mark Bombard. On Windsor Community Television’s Web Site the friction between the Board and myself was growing into a cesspool of name-calling and innuendo. I had pretty much had my fill of the whole thing and vowed that after my meeting with The Town of Windsor Representatives and Comcast that Suzanne and I would move out of the State. The long awaited Graduation of our daughter would free us to move anywhere we wanted. The running joke was Alaska looked real good but it was too close to Windsor. When my daughter’s Graduation was only days away I received a call from a desperate sounding Mark Bombard. He said that I was going to receive a videotape that was taken by Fred Wynter. The videotape was taken with a hidden camera, apparently hidden by Fred Wynter to take movies of two young ladies that were using an office at Windsor Community Television to change into various outfits for a modeling job. Mark told me that he could not tell me where the tape came from, only that I would get it soon. I said I did not want anything to do with it as my daughter was graduating and that even if this tape existed was not relevant to the situation with the Government Channel. As I thought about it I began to wonder if one of the girls was my Daughter, as she very often went to Windsor Community Television’s Studios. The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. “How dare Fred do such a thing”, I thought as my concern grew.

Fred Wynter pretty much ran the programming for Windsor Community Television’s Access Channel. His show Midnight Access regularly featured him following girls around in shopping malls, taking shots of their butts, or filming drunk girls, or kids making out in School. Lenworth Walker, a former Town Councilman for Windsor and the head of the Committee that was in charge of the review of the Town’s contract with Windsor Community Television said that his six year old granddaughter could do a better job with the camera and that the content of the show was a public disgrace. Another show Fred ran was a rap show that’s entire purpose seemed to be how many times the word motherfucker could be used in the same hour. Fred also programmed a Midnight to Five in the Morning music show that featured the music that are popular in clubs. A computerized light show (provided by Windows Media Player) and songs about drugs and sex were broadcast every weekend. Fred became bolder as time went on, he felt invulnerable. The Picken’s could keep their money machine, Fred had real power. Mrs. Fitzgerald, wife of Attorney Tim Fitzgerald, forbade her child from going to Windsor Community Television’s studio because of the drinking and lack of supervision at the facility.

After reviewing the situation I decided to accept the video. I immediately called Don Trinks and apprised him of the situation. He told me to bring the tape to the police. A day or so later Mark arrived with the videotapes. There was a short edited version and a longer master copy. I again asked Mark where the tapes came from, but he said he could not tell me. I told him that I was going to take the tapes to the police, he said that is what he expected me to do. Mark told me that the person that provided the tapes was afraid to turn in the tapes but after following my situation knew that I would do the right thing. At the time I said, “Watch, I’ll get arrested for reporting a crime.” At that point we both thought it was a very funny comment.

I watched part of the edited tape a short time later. Sure enough there was a picture of Fred Wynters standing in front of the camera, adjusting the angle. He walks away from the camera to check the position, then moves forward again to make a final adjustment. Then Fred leaves the room. Fred comes back with a huge mirror. He adjusts the mirror so the camera can capture both the front and the back of the girls. Fred leaves again.

Two girls enter the room. I breathed a sigh of relief, it’s not my daughter. They seem to be older than the girls Fred usually videotapes for his show. I wondered who they could be and why they where in there. One of the girls bends over in front of the mirror and jars the table that held the mirror Fred had so carefully arranged. However Fred adjusted the mirror for maximum coverage, not stability and the mirror crashed to the floor. The girl sprang up,

“I didn’t do it”, she said. I laughed out loud.

“Maybe this is a comedy”, I thought, but the next scene would prove me wrong as I saw the girls casually getting undressed, the same cold methodical way anyone would. I felt sick, ashamed and turned off the video. I had seen enough.

I called the Chief of Police, Kevin Searles. I tried for several days but could not get through. When he did return my phone call he seemed indifferent to the nature of the incident. He made an appointment for me to meet with some detectives for the following week, July the first. I was somewhat bewildered but resigned to the fact that I was doing the right thing. What I did not know at the time was members of the Windsor Police Department were passing around their own voyeuristic material, a videotape of one of the Officers having sex with his girl friend (That case is going to Civil Trial)

I became more curious as to where the tape came from, or rather how it came to be at all. When I probed Mark for answers he just said he could not tell me. I figured I would just bring the tape to the Police and say I did not know where the tape came from or how it came to be. I figured they could sort it out with Fred.

When I met with the two male detectives I told them exactly that – I did not know where the tape came from or how it was made. I said that Fred Wynter should know. We sat and watched the unedited tape. One of the Detectives commented that Fred was a knucklehead for filming himself. That broke the tension and we chuckled a little. When the mirror broke both detectives laughed, it really was funny. What I saw next was very puzzling. What was not shown in the edited tape was that Dave Lapoint came in to the room to sweep up the mess. I wondered what he was doing there. It made sense that he would clean up the mess as he was a custodian, but he was dressed causally, not in his uniform. I pointed out to the detectives that I thought it was strange that Dave would be there. I also said that I did not think that this was a master tape, it looked too grainy and it was obviously a copy. I told them I had thought that that was a master tape, but it obviously could not have been. When we got to the part where the girls started changing their clothes the room got very quiet and I asked if we could stop the tape.

I discussed a few things with the Detectives and I am unsure in what order. I told them that I had very severe issues with Windsor Community Television but I was the person that brought Fred into the Station in the first place. I said that it was a very bad decision on his part but I was also concerned that this would ruin his life. I said that I at first was worried that the girls on the tape would be my daughter or some of their friends. I said that any parent would be both angry and distraught as I was. I did not know the girls but I imagined that their parents would be as upset as I. I said that I could not imagine how these girls will feel after they find out about this existence of the tape. I answered all of their questions and they said I could go. On my way out they stopped me and introduced me to a Detective Neary. She was in uniform and I was told that she would be handling the case. I was again somewhat bewildered because she was not in the room for the interview. We chatted for a bit and I again expressed my concern for the girls and for Fred. I was getting a little teary eyed at this point as I was getting overwhelmed with how this would affect everyone’s lives. I figured this was behind me and by September Windsor would just be a memory. I am still astounded at how wrong I could be.

July was somewhat uneventful with the exception of one thing. While Mark had the videotapes he made some stills as evidence and e-mailed them to me. I then forwarded them to Don Trinks. There were very many e-mails going back and forth between myself, Mark Bombard and Don Trinks. Mark was very insistent that we play up Fred’s misadventure with the videoing while I said that was not relevant to the Government Channel issue. Mark seemed to think that somehow or other he would get his job back. I cautioned Mark that it was very unlikely. Trinks continued to receive the documents I was getting from Dave LaPoint. Suzanne and I continued to make plans to move from Windsor. I was running Jefferson Starship’s Record Label and sales of our new DVD were very strong. Suzanne and I were developing our CD production business and looking to expand. For the first time since we had moved from our previous house our business was expanding in all of our key competencies. We planned on moving to a tourist area and opening a shop where fans of the sixties bands could go and find CDs, posters, memorabilia, surf the web and watch movies.

In early August the Police asked me to come back to the station for an interview. This time Neary and another Detective were there. They asked me to repeat my story, which I did. I also told them that there was no love lost between Windsor Community Television and myself. Again I expressed my concern and also my bewilderment as to why Fred was still running Windsor Community Television. The detectives told me that they had approached Fred and he confessed. They said that Fred gave them two more tapes and swore that those were the only copies. I asked them what kind of tapes, were they big tapes or little tapes. They said that they were big tapes. I said to them that it was impossible that the big tapes were the masters because I knew that Fred was using a little digital camera that is the only camera he uses. I had seen it many times, including at an event where he was taping my daughter receiving an award. I again expressed my concern that Fred was still freely doing his thing. However the Detectives were not interested in Fred at all. They wanted to know where the tape came from. I said I did not know but I did think that I knew somebody that did. I said I would call the person and have them come down to the Station to make a statement. They said fine and I left.

I called Mark Bombard as soon as I got home. I told him that he had best go to the Station and tell the Police everything he knew. At one point prior to this Mark had told me some dumb story that he found the tape in a pile to be erased, then later he told me someone put it on his desk, I told him in no uncertain terms that he had best tell me the truth and he confessed that Dave LaPoint gave Mark the tape. I told him to tell the Police that and to tell Dave to also make a statement. Even after being lied to twice I still figured that neither Mark nor Dave had any part in this mess. I had know both for years and they just were not “the type”, I figured Dave just wanted to quietly do his job and still be able to rifle through the garbage and Mark was trying to protect Dave. Depending on who’s story you believe I was both right and wrong.

According to Mark, his interview was uneventful. Dave’s interview was a complete disaster. Dave LaPoint has a very painful back condition that has to be treated with some powerful pain medication. When Dave reported to the Police Department he claims that a new medication he was on made him paranoid. When the Police confronted him he shut right up and said he wanted a Lawyer. I found this to be both puzzling and disturbing. Why would Dave need a Lawyer. I lost all contact with Dave at this time. Most of my conversations were with Mark and Don.

Mark told me that Dave was afraid of Fred, I asked why but Mark had no answers. I asked if Dave had something to do with the video. Mark insisted that Dave did not. Mark said that Dave’s Lawyer told him not to speak about the case.

In September I called Detective Neary to find out what was going on with the case. She said that it was past the statute of limitations and no arrests were going to be made. The case was closed. When Mark Bombard inquired she told him the same thing. To me it sounded like a cover up. Why would they just bury this case? I e-mailed Don Trinks with the news. He pressed me to make arrangements for the new Town Manager Peter P. Souza to meet with Comcast and resolve the Windsor Community Television conflict. Don also asked once again if the documents I e-mailed him were genuine, I assured him they were.

In preparation for the meeting I contacted Comcast, Mr. Trinks (The Mayor of Windsor), Wayne Mulligan (Windsor Town Council and the Head of Governor Roland’s Defense Fund) and Peter Souza to find out what times the could meet. I also had a conversation with Peter Souza prior to the meeting. In my conversation with Souza I outlined what the Law was in regards to PEG groups and that Comcast had suggested that a new election be held to replace the current Board. I told him that the Board had made it impossible for anyone but their friends and family run the Station. I said that the best way for the Board to be elected is by the subscribers directly. The idea of organizing the folks who pay Comcast for services really seemed to shake him a little. He said he had not thought about that.

The meeting was set for the beginning of the week towards the end of September. I assembled what documents I needed. I had a timeline of events regarding my involvement with Windsor Community Television. I had the Board of Windsor Community Television’s Meeting Minutes and related documents. As an after thought I also included the stills that Mark had sent me. I thought that that situation would underscore how serious and dangerous the unsupervised environment of Windsor Community Television was becoming. The pictures of the girl’s faces and breasts were totally blacked out. A brief description of the events was captioned underneath. I felt that I was reporting a crime to the proper authorities and did so in a way that protected the models identity and dignity. This was to be a closed-door session and I was confident that the gentlemen I was addressing would appreciate the confidential nature of this report. I was wrong, wrong, wrong again.

I arrived at the Windsor Town Hall with Suzanne for the meeting. The meeting started before Wayne Mulligan got there. Introductions were made. The lawyers for Comcast sat across from me, Don Trinks was seated at the head of the table, I sat to his right, Suzanne next to me and Peter Souza next to her. To my total astonishment Peter Sousa started the meeting with,

“Why are we here?”

I started to explain that we were there to provide answers for the Town in deference to the Government channel. While I started speaking Don Trinks spotted my report and grabbed a copy. Pretty soon everyone at the table had a copy. Instead of reading the report everyone went right to the stills of the girls. Then in walked Wayne Mulligan,

“Sorry I am late, what did I miss?”, he said and was then provided with a copy of the report. Peter Souza wrote something on a pad and spun it around to Wayne. Wayne seemed to respond no. Suzanne thought she saw “Did you know about this” on the pad.

Wayne Mulligan runs WDRC and is a huge supporter of ex-Governor Roland. Governor Roland’s Administration may be one of the most corrupt administrations Connecticut has ever had to endure. Mulligan and Roland were often photographed together but somehow Mr. Mulligan was never identified by the press. Mulligan solicited funds for Roland’s defense fund and encouraged WDRC Radio Personality Brad Davis to project Roland as misunderstood, caught up with the events and even though he took a few bribes he was still a real nice guy. I spoke with Wayne and I trusted him. I thought he was pretty sharp and would be fair. He had already condemned Windsor Community Television as blackmailers. Wayne knew everything I knew before the meeting. Everything. Then he lied.

I tried to salvage the meeting but it had a life of it’s own now. I tried several times to get our focus back on the Government Channel but everyone was now off into various stages of confusion and denial. I remember trying to make a joke that it had been so long that I worked at the station all my fans were senile. Everyone just kept looking at the blacked out pictures of the girls.

The meeting adjourned with no real conclusions. I had tried to impress that the subscribers of Comcast deserved better but as the old expression goes, it was like herding cats. As I exited from the meeting room, Don asked Mulligan and Souza to stay, I was ushered out with Suzanne. The expression on Don’s face was not very friendly. What happened next I surely don’t know, but it lead to my arrest for eight counts of distribution of voyeuristic material.

A day or so later David LaPoint asked me to meet him at LP Wilson. When I got there he gave me more documents. He told me I would be very interested in the contents. I asked him why did he not tell the police everything he knew. He told me that he was afraid. Dave said that Fred had given him a copy of the tape and Dave put it in his locker. Dave said he thought it was a video of the shoot he had done with the models.

While I am not exactly sure of when I heard about the details of the Model Shoot, I do know I heard it from Detective Neary first. Apparently Dave was contacted by a person of means to set up a web site for a line of jewelry. Dave arranged to have Windsor Community Television rented for the shoot on a Saturday. When the girls arrived, instead of them changing in the Girls Bathroom, a temporary dressing room was established at the office adjoining the Studio at Windsor Community Television. Dave claims it was Fred’s idea, Fred claims it was Dave’s idea.

While Dave was handing me these documents I asked him what actually happened. He told me that Fred had given him this video. When Dave finally found out what was on the tape he was angry. The models were friends and family. Fred said that if Dave said anything that Fred would claim that Dave suggested that Fred make this video. I said to Dave that I understood that this video was a couple of years old and asked why he did not just destroy it. Dave told me that he told Fred that if anything like this happened again he would make sure the tape was brought to the police. I told Dave that I did not understand why he just did not come forward with this story. Dave told me that his lawyer advised him to just shut up. I told Dave that I did not think he was stupid enough to give me a videotape that would incriminate him. He said Thank YOU! In the affirmative. At this point Dave’s lawyer’s advice seemed OK. No one was being arrested but we all felt it was not going to get any worse. Had I read the documents Dave had given me I would have felt differently.

The following morning I read the hand written letter Dave had given to me. It was from John Pickens, Director of Windsor Community Television and addressed to the Chief of Police Searles. In the letter Pickens claims that he owned my website www.wintv.org and he wanted the Police Department to put pressure on Rick McNamara. I was outraged. Mr. Pickens was not even on the Board when I secured the domain name. He did not have any knowledge of the fact that Windsor Community Television used my web space and Domain name for months – without any compensation. The computers we used were ones that I secured, the e-mail addresses were my personal e-mails from TIAC and Netplex. In my station manager reports I offered the domain name to the Board and was never given any response, mostly because the Board just did not show up for the meetings. The entire web site was developed on my own time. It was only after I was fired did the Board approach me to refine the web site.

The wintv.org web site was one of my newest and most interactive sites. There were pages to let folks know how to contact the station, volunteer to work and an interactive form that would allow non-profit and civic groups to post news on the Station’s PEG channels. I was paid six or seven hundred dollars for the work, but by what others were charging at the time, it was more like a two or three thousand job. A web site that I designed for All Aboard that was similar in scope while working for Martinez & Associates fetched Ten Thousand Dollars. Though Windsor Community Television severely underpaid, I needed the work. I had planned on using the site as a demo of my work. It really was an advanced design at that time.

I found out that I was replaced as Webmaster when I was using the site as a demo for a client who needed the same type of interactivity. I dialed up the site to find my carefully chosen color scheme and graphics were replaced with poorly drawn clip art. The site was totally inoperable; none of the forms worked and most of the pages were dead ends or had missing graphics. I was absolutely floored, my client was unimpressed and despite my explanation that someone had tampered with my work the entire session resulted in me loosing the account.

Developing the site was part of the Gag order I had to sign when I was relieved as Station Manager. I received two weeks severance pay and about six hundred Dollars for the web site design. In total I received twelve hundred dollars. In return I was to help the staff transition through December and develop the web site. The contract stipulated that:
• Neither party was to comment to the press
• I would be retained as the Webmaster
• I would be allowed to continue my TV Talk Show

Carol Hartman broke the first part of the contract right away. She made what I perceived as derogatory comment to the Hartford Courant. Since I really needed to work I just swallowed my pride and rolled up my sleeves. After paying the rent I only had two hundred dollars left to make it through the month of December. I had one other client that owed me money and that would take care of the utilities. Suzanne was employed by a member of the Windsor Community Television Board, Bill Haberman. I brought Bill into the Board to help us with the Educational Channel as he worked for the Board of Education and ran the Adult Educational Program. Bill was one of my most vocal critics but was also upset with Carol Hartman’s constant obstructionist view of the Board of Education’s use of the Educational Channel. Suzanne had a part time job teaching an Adult Education class on Beginner Computer Skills. We depended on the money to help us buy some gifts for our kids for Christmas. In one of the most mean spirited episodes Bill somehow lost Suzanne’s check (ALL the other teachers were paid) and we wound up buying twenty dollars worth of arts and crafts supplies for our kids Christmas presents. Our children were always the victims of the Board of Windsor Community Television’s policies.

It was because of my children and their welfare that I wound up being fired in the first place. The Board claimed that they could not pay me more than the Twenty Two Thousand Dollars a year I received in salary. My kids had no health care benefits and they wound up on State assisted insurance. After taxes and rent we lived on four hundred dollars per month. If the car broke or car insurance was due we were in real trouble. Suzanne stayed home to watch the kids and do part time web site work for a car dealership.

It was November 1999 and we had just finished election coverage and a major event. I was working about eighty hours a week. The Board was still very uncooperative and had little interest in helping with any of the events. I was asked by Tom Donahue to start a fundraiser, which I was glad to as my review was coming up and I really needed a substantial raise. Just as I started the fundraiser Carol Hartman called and ordered me to stop. I refused; I said I was told to conduct the fundraiser by Tom Donahue as November was our Traditional time to raise funds and awareness for the Station. I had already made plans with the Windsor Town Hall to put up one of those thermometers to track our progress. Carol again insisted that I stop – again I refused and she fired me. That was my big mistake, refusing to stop a fundraiser. Later on Tom Donahue said to me,

“Rick we have, Sixty Thousand Dollars in the Bank, why would we need a fund raiser?”

I was dumbfounded. For a year my family lived on the edge of total financial destruction and these folks were sitting pretty on Sixty Thousand Dollars-and I was told this by the very guy who insisted I start the fund raiser. Then Leo Canty, another Board member said,

“It’s our money, we can spend it any way we want. We can bankrupt the Station if we want”. Leo Canty made a small fortune running a teachers union and is very active in the Town of Windsor politics. He quietly works behind the scenes as a shaper of policy. Comforting to know that someone with that moral fiber is one of the great shakers of Connecticut policy, but I digress…

My hands began to tremble after reading Mr. Pickens letter. This was the same Pickens that hired his son as the webmaster in January 2000, the same Pickens that cancelled my TV show, the same Pickens that filled the Windsor Community Television with friends and family, the very same Pickens that actually did drain the coffers of Windsor Community Television and was now holding the Government Channel hostage in exchange for Sixty Thousand Dollars. I could barely contain my rage.

I called Don Trinks and shared that I was very concerned about the letter and it’s implications. I scanned the letter and e-mailed it to Don Trinks. That would be the last time I e-mailed from that computer.

Other than receiving the letter Thursday was pretty typical. We processed orders for the record label I was running. I had built a machine that replicated CDs, we also manufactured the covers and assemble the CDs. Our biggest client was Jefferson Starship but I also had a growing list of local musicians, small businesses and manufacturers that used our CD ROM and Audio CD replication and design services. After we closed up shop and I made my call to Don Trinks Suzanne and I had dinner and started to pack our 600 or so videos. I wanted to organize them so we could find them when we unpacked. I separated our client videos from our family videos and sorted the entertainment videos by genre. We then numbered each video, scanned them into the computer (to make a list) and packed them away. We finished at about three in the morning. We had piles of boxes in the middle of our living room, sitting on top of the pile of boxes was a white box plainly marked WIN – TV Documents and Videos. Exhausted, we went to bed. It was warm and I slept naked while Suzanne wore a short sleeveless thin nightgown.

Two and a half hours later I awoke to hear a phone ringing and a commotion on the front porch. Suzanne leapt out of bed and seeing Police Officers at the door promptly let them in. It is impossible to know how many exactly were there but there must have been at least twelve. They seized Suzanne right away and forced her into the kitchen. Whatever grogginess I had was gone in a flash as an armed officer told me to freeze. Gun in hand he repeated again for me to freeze, as I stood naked by my bed. A parade of Male and Female Officers were checking me out.

“I want to get a robe for my wife and some clothes on”, I said. But the officer would not let me. Instead he had me stand there for several minutes while more officers streamed by the doorway to check me out. His hand on his gun. As I stood there I started to wonder what this naked fifty-year-old guy was going to do. I only had one thing that looked anything like a gun and that was made for love, not war. I kept looking at this big fat cop checking me out, his hand on his gun and wondered what this fat pervert had to gain by keeping me standing in a now 55 degree room completely naked. I could here Suzanne in the kitchen, asking the officers what they were doing. I become more concerned for her safety.

I insisted that Suzanne be given a robe. The officer claimed that she did not need it. Nearly ten minutes had gone by, I kept repeating that Suzanne should have a robe. The fat policeman was standing right next to it at still did nothing. I kept thinking that these freaking perverts were getting their jollies checking out my wife in a nightgown that left little to the imagination. I much louder insisted that my wife be given a robe and I be allowed to dress. Finally a much larger Detective huffed and puffed his approval. I gave an officer my wife’s robe and then quickly through on a pair of underwear, pants and a shirt. I was then lead to our kitchen past my office.

Suzanne wanted her glasses and no one would give them to her. She said she wanted to read the search warrant but she was not allowed to get her glasses. No officer volunteered to get them. Instead they told her to stay seated and shut up. Suzanne started to menstruate but they would not let her move. She had to sit in her own blood.

      Suzanne and Suzanne's blood stained nitie

 The big fat detective said.

“So Mr. McNamara, we weren’t moving fast enough for you?”

I asked, “Why are you doing this?”

“It’s because of your meeting at the Town Hall,” the fat man huffed.

Then Detective Neary said, “We don’t trust you anymore.” Then they proceeded to dismantle my computers. I pleaded with them to stop, instead the continued to take all my computers, including my CD replicator and even considered taking my digital camera. There were about five officers guarding Suzanne and myself as the rest of their party ransacked the house. I had to use the bathroom and an officer watched as I moved what he must of considered my dangerous bowels. When I was escorted back into the kitchen a plain clothes officer came in with a blue cardboard box.

“Who wants to take responsibility for this?” he asked.

I had forgotten about the contents of that box. Inside were concert tickets, music memorabilia and a tin with a bag of pot seed a roadie from the rock Band Aerosmith gave to me some 30 years ago. There were some other odds and ends in there as well. Stuff I probably should have thrown away years ago but never did. I never thought my house would be searched as I was not involved in the drug trade, had I been Suzanne would have certainly known about it and would not have let the police in so quickly. I was arrested for procession of Marijuana. I was allowed to put on some shoes, cuffed and lead away. Leaving Suzanne alone with those creepy cops was uncomfortable. The cops asked me if I was going to give them any trouble.

“For a bag of twenty year old seeds? Are you crazy?” They smiled and we were off to the Police Station.

Once at the Station my shoelaces were taken away so I would not hang myself. It was still early and I was not really awake. My mug shot was taken and I was fingerprinted. Detective Neary arrived, while she was a cold hearted nazi bitch at my house now she was like my best friend. She was her own good cop bad cop, “the best she could do with the budget shortfalls” I thought to myself.

I was lead into a room and they sat me next to my computer equipment. In the room Neary said that she was pleased that I was being so cooperative and thanked me for helping with the case. This is a crazy woman I thought to myself. I was released on my own recognizance and a short time later Suzanne picked me up.

When I got home the amount of devistation was incredible. Our newly sorted videos were all over the place. Suzanne’s jewelry was strewn all over the floor. Our clothes were thrown to the ground. A VCR was damaged. The police had taken some videos as well, A Ringo Starr Concert, A Sage Park School Concert (that my kids were in) and a 911 documentary. Amid all this devastation only one box remained unsealed. The white box clearly marked WIN TV Videos and Documents.

I called the Town Manager and asked why he had me arrested. Manager Souza said he did not have me arrested – that was a lie as the paperwork I got from the prosecuting attorney will show. Later in the evening I called Don Trinks and he admitted to telling Wayne Mulligan and the Town Manager to look into this. I was furious. At the same time Detective Neary came to the door with a receipt for our equipment. She promised that we would have our stuff back in thirty days – another lie. In the meantime I was yelling at Don Trinks about having to deal with these Nazi Bastards in my house.

The next morning I was fixing up an old Mac Computer so I could at least get on the web. A knock came and when I looked out the front door Town Councilman Donald Jepson was standing there. I wondered what in the world he could want. Jepson was campaigning for a State post (he lost). I told him about what had happened. He asked me why the Police would do such a thing. I said I thought they might be trying to cover up the incident at Windsor Community Television. He said that it was too late. That Don Trinks had been waving the pictures all over the Town Council Chambers and that everyone knew about the incident.

I went to the Enfield Court three or four times for my possession bust. Every time I went the prosecutors were very unfriendly. They told me that I would quite possibly never get my computers back. Also, I never was able to be tried, other folks walked in with busts for marijuana that had much more weed and a lot less seed and walked with a hundred dollar fine. I could not even get tried. The last time I reported to the Enfield Court I was greeted by Detective Neary. She said that I was going to be arrested again and asked if I would like to report to the Police Station or would I like to be picked up. I said I would report to the Station and added,

“You must be very proud of yourself.”

I was charged with eight counts of Dissemination of Voyeuristic Material, a felony. If convicted I could never vote or be involved in Community or Government politics, it would be difficult or impossible to ever get a good job and for the rest of my life I could have had to register as a sex offender (which really puts a damper on your social calendar). What I once joked about, being arrested for reporting a crime had come true. Now I was in real trouble.

My Uncle F Timothy McNamara graciously took my case. He has a great reputation in the Connecticut Legal circles and I was very lucky to have him represent me. The first challenge in the case was when the Windsor Police released a statement saying that I was arrested for the distribution of Voyeuristic Material. Pretty soon Channel 61 and Channel 30 News was at my door. With Attorney McNamara’s permission I made a statement saying that my only involvement in the crime was to report the crime. Suzanne videotaped both interviews in their entirety. Later when we watched the news there was the perpetrator of the entire affair Fred Wynter at Windsor Community Television standing with his lover/Board Member Melene Russell making this statement,

“I don’t know why three older and supposedly wiser men would set me up like this.”

Later on Windsor Community Television made a statement that said in effect the Fred had done no wrong and that the Station would stand behind him. Fred later pleads guilty.

I found out that the Democratic Party had started a vicious campaign to discredit me. They started to tell everyone that Mark and I were passing the video around like a hot potato and that the Police caught me with it. Another rumor was that the search warrant was for drugs and I was arrested on the suspicion of drug dealing. As a result I lost all my clients. I did not have any computers anyway so it did not make a huge difference.

The worst thing was that as a result I had to also shut down the Jefferson Starship Record label CIAXM. I explained why as best as I could and received support from all over the world. However no money was coming in and I could not look for a job until my case had been settled. On top of this doctors found that disks in my spine were deteriorating and that I had a withering bone disease. This meant that manual labor was pretty much out of the question. I was able to cobble together a computer and was able to get some work but most of my jobs were on speculation or commission. It was not uncommon to work a ten-hour day for ten or fifteen dollar returns. I kept thinking that the next court date would be the last, but never was.

The case dragged on for nearly a year before the State dismissed my charges. I thanked my Uncle for saving my life. Three weeks later my equipment was returned. It was damaged and unusable. I had to perform repairs that took an additional two to three weeks. On reviewing the one machine I used for e-mail I discovered that every single correspondence to Don Trinks that I made, from June to August, was removed from the computer. I am still puzzled as to why I was arrested for presenting a document in a closed-door session while Mr. Trinks enjoyed no charges as he showed the same pictures to everyone in the Town Council. Why were my correspondences to Trinks removed? Why did members of the Democratic Town Committee spread these terrible stories? Why did the Democratic Town Committee drop Lenworth Walker, the man responsible for removing the “Rick Clause” from the Government Channel contract get dropped from the Democratic Ticket? Why weren’t Fred Wynter’s computers searched? Why was my the only house deemed worthy enough to ransack? Why did the Police not even bother to open a box clearly marked WIN - TV Documents? Why was a search warrant even made out at all as Detective Neary’s request is all based on her opinion and not solid facts? Why did the Windsor Police suddenly change their mind and make arrests after they had said they were dropping the case? Why did the Mayor of Windsor purposely discredit me?

When I was first arrested I asked both the Town Manager and the Mayor to please write a small statement explaining that I was there to help them with their problem with the Government channel. After the years of service I gave to this Town neither one complied. Their actions speak volumes.
 


TO BE CONTINUED...

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