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Teachers’ union employee found guilty of cyber-stalking

September 20, 2011

An attorney for John Leidecker, deputy executive director at the National Education Association Rhode Island, plans to appeal the verdict, which says Leidecker harassed a state representative via email.

Leidecker admits he sent messages to then-Representative Douglas Gablinske under a fictitious persona. His attorney, Robert Mann, says the emails are a form of political parody protected under the First Amendment.

District Court Judge Stephen Isherwood found Leidecker guilty on one count of cyber-stalking. Speaking outside the courtroom, Gablinske, a democrat, said teachers’ union members should disavow the political tactics of their leaders.

“I do not believe the membership of the NEA support these acts,” Gablinske said. “But it is incumbent on them to do something about it. If they do not, by omission, they support their leadership’s actions.”

Leidecker was sentenced to a $100 fine. He declined to comment, though his lawyer says he will appeal the verdict.

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