Union official guilty of cyberstalking ex-lawmaker


A Rhode Island teachers’ union official has been found guilty of cyberstalking a former state lawmaker.

John Leidecker, an assistant executive director with the National Education Association of Rhode Island, was found guilty by Judge Stephen Isherwood Monday. Isherwood ordered Leidecker to pay a $100 fine. The crime is a misdemeanor.

Prosecutors say Leidecker sent emails purporting to be from then-state Rep. Doug Gablinske, a Bristol Democrat who lost in last September’s primary.

Leidecker is appealing. During trial his attorneys defended the emails as political parody, protected by the Constitution.

But Isherwood says the emails were sent for the “sole purpose” of harassing Gablinske.

Gablinske testified that the emails misstated his political positions and made him fear for his family’s safety. Gablinske says he feels “elated inside” after the verdict was announced.

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