Friday, April 11, 2003
Phone threat case hits dead end
The search for the person who left a death threat on the Town Assessor's telephone at Town Hall last January 31 has come to a dead end, according to Police Lieutenant John Sullivan who has been in charge of the investigation.
A frustrating investigation
Sullivan spoke earlier this week about a tedious and difficult investigation that ended "because we were unable to obtain phone records." He listed the failed attempts to trace the Friday night phone message. First, it was necessary to get a subpoena to have Verizon release its phone records. He filled out the forms, called to confirm their receipt, and waited two weeks. He called again. He was told the court had no record of his request and was told to resubmit the request for a subpoena. This he did, but on this second attempt to get the records another attorney told him the court does not respond in instances of a single threat. Meanwhile, the first request, the one the court could not find, had made its way to Verizon.
The response from Verizon, received via the court, was not productive. Verizon said they are unable to trace local calls, although they could have traced an outside call or a cell phone call. Sullivan tried to pursue the matter through Verizon's New York office, without any further success.
Meanwhile at Town Hall...
Town Assessor John Speidel, the presumed target of threat, feels frustrated by this outcome. "A lot of people ask you and it bugs you [that the call has not been traced]," he said. The town phone system does not have Caller I.D. service. Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie said that the town hasn't "looked into that option" and it has not come up. Speidel believes that Caller I.D. would have solved the case. "We would have had it," he said.
Other Town Hall employees, who felt personally threatened by the call, remain uncomfortable. To them it doesn't feel like a closed case.
© 2003 The