Leidecker found guilty of cyber-stalking

PROVIDENCE, RI – The deputy executive director of one of the state's largest teachers' unions was convicted Monday of cyber-stalking a former state representative.

District Court Judge Stephen Isherwood rejected arguments that John Leidecker had exercised a constitutionally protected form of free speech. Isherwood said e-mails sent by Leidecker under a fictitious persona to former Bristol rep Douglas Gablinske were harassment.

Gablinske called the conviction part of a pattern of bad behavior at Leidecker's employer, the National Education Association Rhode Island.

"I do not believe the membership of the NEA support these acts by the NEA leadership, says Gablinske, "but it is incumbent upon 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 other than describing Gablinske's charge as "nonsense." Leidecker's lawyer, Robert Mann, says he'll appeal the verdict.

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