UPDATE: JULY 3, 2009 AT 12:36 A.M.
Trustee Capaldi contacted the SCPR minutes ago and stated that The Report's source has his information wrong on the alleged involvement of Capaldi in events leading up to the resignation of Police Chief Tim Escola.
The SCPR checked again with the source prior to returning Capaldi's call and the source was adamant that there are multiple sources making this point.
Yours truly offered Trustee Capaldi the opportunity to respond to this blog in her own words. However, she is traveling and does not have facilities to generate her response. Because she is traveling, she has not read the blog itself and therefore was relying on a second hand account of the blog in conversing with yours truly.
Ms. Capaldi complained that the SCPR had not contacted her prior to posting the blog.
The SCPR policy on contacting principals in stories is that generally that no contact is made because The Report checks and rechecks with sources prior to posting a blog and only uses sources who have established that they are reliable. Many, if not all, stories that the SCPR writes are denied by principals and the SCPR does not seek permission to publish from principals because of obvious self-interest factors which is clearly understandable.
As stated above, after a story is published, principals are given unfettered access (except for personal attacks) to state their side of the story on, in the opinion of some "non-story."
Moreover, if a source proves to be wrong on a given post, then, once such is established in the mind of yours truly, the SCPR will write a follow up blog saying so and needless to say will re-evaluate downward the reliability of the source.
The SCPR has learned that former Perry Township police chief Tim Escola may have been setup by a Perry Township official (in the instrumental sense of "setup;" in other words, the driving force behind) to be caught on camera in amorous conduct with subordinate officer Janine England on a trip the pair made to Cincinnati in early June to pick up a prisoner.
Who is the SCPR's source (a high level Stark County official backed up by at least two others) alleging the Perry official to be?
Perry Township trustee Anna Capaldi, that's who.
If true, the allegation is shocking. Moreover, it does not make sense. Capaldi is reported to have been the moving force behind Escola getting the job in the first place. Moreover, another source says that Capaldi regularly, over the years since he has been chief, has extolled Escola's performance.
The Repository printed a story on the matter suggesting the possibility of a set up last evening but did not mention Capaldi (or any specific individual) as a person being investigated. However, The Rep does report Escola's attorney Craig Conley as saying:
“Mr. Escola expects appropriate law-enforcement agencies to investigate and, if merited, criminal charges will be brought against that culprit as well.”In a June 30 Repository story, Capaldi is quoted thusly:
"When something happens out of character, it certainly is a surprise, We're disappointed."Capaldi quotes from Massillon Independent stories on the Escola/England matter include:
“We can’t do anything about something we don’t know about,I was very, very shocked when I was made aware of the situation.”
“I don’t know how it could be. Could it be somebody inside the department? I don’t know. It just wish it had been handled better. It was wrong. ,,, "
If the setup charge is true, it is unclear why the plan was put together and how it was pulled off.
If Trustee Capaldi is behind the plot, did she do it alone? Probably not.
The SCPR wrote earlier in the week that all was not right with this whole matter. The trustees moved very quickly through this process and obviously just wanted it to go away post haste.
Now the rest of the story is starting to unfold.
Calpaldi is thought to be a rising star (one of the few) in the Stark County Republican Party and has be rumored as running against Democratic commissioner Todd Bosley or Democratic county auditor Kim Perez.
Yours truly still has to pinch himself to believe that Byzantine operation involving Trustee Capaldi is about to unravel.