There is new information concerning the shenanigans pulled by Windham School Boardmember Dennis Senibaldi last week during the school board meeting. On Friday theEagle Tribune wrote about the first Windham School Board meeting with new board members Tom Murray and Daniel Popovici-Muller. Apparently the faux outrage of the day was by shunned board member Dennis Senibaldi who claimed Ken Eyring (who was nominated Chairman over Senibaldi) somehow violated his oath of office by sharing a school board’s general counsel email with a Windham Town Selectman and a lawyer for further advice.
Eyring was seeking further information on whether or not the Windham School Board violated municipal law by voting through the Cenergistic contract without a vote from Windham residents. Since Adam Steel and their general counsel knew Eyring was asking for this information at the public’s request, it is obvious to assume that whatever response he provided would also be parlayed to the people requesting the information and would be shared with others.
Eyring did not make the email public although it falls within public “right-to-know” information as it is not a private document per the exemption rules under RSA 91-A:5. Apparently Senibaldi had Eyring’s email as far back as January 26th but never bothered to share it with anyone until the board meeting last week when he was running for Chair. He not only shared it but he stomped his feet and behaved like a 5 year old childhaving a tantrum. Not only did he waste the board’s time but the residents who were in attendance at the meeting as well.
The big question is – did Senibaldi violate the New Hampshire State Computer Crimes law? Senibaldi admits he saw an email in Selectman Bruce Breton’s inbox. He admitted taking the email. This was reported in the Eagle Tribune:
Senibaldi said he saw the email in the inbox of Selectman Bruce Breton, who routinely asks Senibaldi for email help.
Breton said Wednesday the email was taken from his account without permission.
Senibaldi has known about the email since Jan. 26, but he held off on notifying the superintendent and school board until after the elections. Senibaldi defended his decision to send himself the email, saying he was given the password and access to the account by Breton.
“I held off because I didn’t want to influence any election stuff going on,” Senibaldi said. “There was enough mud slinging and mud throwing. I waited as along as I could and then sought advice from counsel.”
Breton states that the email was taken without his permission. That indeed is a violation of the computer crimes laws under RSA 638 which fall under Fraud laws in New Hampshire:
638:17 Computer Related Offenses. –
I. A person is guilty of the computer crime of unauthorized access to a computer or computer network when, knowing that the person is not authorized to do so, he or she knowingly accesses or causes to be accessed any computer or computer network without authorization. It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution for unauthorized access to a computer or computer network that:
(a) The person reasonably believed that the owner of the computer or computer network, or a person empowered to license access thereto, had authorized him or her to access; or
(b) The person reasonably believed that the owner of the computer or computer network, or a person empowered to license access thereto, would have authorized the person to access without payment of any consideration; or
(c) The person reasonably could not have known that his or her access was unauthorized.
II. A person is guilty of the computer crime of theft of computer services when he or she knowingly accesses or causes to be accessed or otherwise uses or causes to be used a computer or computer network with the purpose of obtaining unauthorized computer services.
III. A person is guilty of the computer crime of interruption of computer services when the person, without authorization, knowingly or recklessly disrupts or degrades or causes the disruption or degradation of computer services or denies or causes the denial of computer services to an authorized user of a computer or computer network.
IV. A person is guilty of the computer crime of misuse of computer or computer network information when:
(a) As a result of his or her accessing or causing to be accessed a computer or computer network, the person knowingly makes or causes to be made an unauthorized display, use, disclosure, or copy, in any form, of data residing in, communicated by, or produced by a computer or computer network; or
(b) The person knowingly or recklessly and without authorization:
(1) Alters, deletes, tampers with, damages, destroys, or takes data intended for use by a computer or computer network, whether residing within or external to a computer or computer network; or
(2) Intercepts or adds to data residing within a computer or computer network; or
(c) The person knowingly receives or retains data obtained in violation of subparagraph (a) or (b) of this paragraph; or
(d) The person knowingly uses or discloses any data he or she knows or believes was obtained in violation of subparagraph (a) or (b) of this paragraph.
V. A person is guilty of the computer crime of destruction of computer equipment when he or she, without authorization, knowingly or recklessly tampers with, takes, transfers, conceals, alters, damages, or destroys any equipment used in a computer or computer network, or knowingly or recklessly causes any of the foregoing to occur.
VI. A person is guilty of the computer crime of computer contamination if such person knowingly introduces, or causes to be introduced, a computer contaminant into any computer, computer program, or computer network which results in a loss of property or computer services.
Source. 1985, 139:1. 2002, 261:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2003.
It appears there are several areas in the above could apply to Senibaldi. Even if he was authorized to look at the computer (questionable) he was not authorized, per Breton, to take his email. That indeed is a violation of state law. There are actual penalties for violating this law as well which can be found inRSA 638:18.
Senibaldi actually claims that Eyring violated his Oath of Office. Clearly Senibaldi hasn’t bothered to read the Oath for Windham School Board members. Nothing Eyring did violates his Oath of Office although it’s now questionable whether Senibaldi violated his oath. Trying to get the public the information they requested is actually what a good elected official does.
Windham voters spoke loud and clear when they ousted Rekart and Joanis. A big part of that change was they were sick of the games, unaccountability and intransparency of the Windham School Board. Voters thought they’d be getting some semblance of a reasonable school board back but Senibaldi blew that away with his atrocious behavior at the meeting last week. Senibaldi may want to talk to a lawyer about his possible computer crimes.
Sadly for Windham residents it looks like they have a couple more spots on the school board to ‘clean up.’