“We are a puny and fickle folk. Avarice, hesitation, and following are our diseases.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Certainly in the story below, avarice has a part to play. And a good heap of following, too, if you count all of the people who blindly fell in with the popular Sandy Hook mythos.
As for hesitation, there has been enough of that as well, from those fearful of recrimination for looking more closely at the do-gooders behind numerous Sandy Hook charitable foundations.
One of these do-gooders, Kyle Lyddy, is being accused of embezzlement.
Lyddy was the cherubic and ambitious marketing professional who took the spotlight as an active member of “We Are Newtown,” a group that sought to bring the community together after 12-14-12.
Lyddy later served as chairman of the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission until stepping down this April. In 2016, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for Connecticut’s 106th District state house seat.
More recently, he has been serving as campaign manager of the Oz Griebel/Monte Frank Connecticut gubernatorial campaign.
But on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, Lyddy was charged with first-degree larceny for stealing $500,000 from his former employer, Match Marketing Group (Norwalk). The charges followed a month-long investigation.
A Hartford Courant article outlines the sticky-fingered activities that Lyddy is accused of, including a 124-night stay worth $10,000 at the Danbury Holiday Inn on the Match Marketing Group’s credit card. By his admission, Lyddy used a free digital wallet app to charge $60,000 worth of fraudulent purchases. The warrant also listed multiple vacation expenses, including a $7,000 AirBnb stay and, oddly, another $7,000 for the Lyddy family’s annual charity event, Light Up the Point.
Adweek.com reports that Match Marketing Group was acquired by Southfield Capital from Beringer Capital in July 2018. According to the Courant, Lyddy had worked for Match since January 2016, resigning in January 2018 after being questioned about fraudulent expenses.
Not fake. Mainstream news sources for this unfortunate incident range from local to national.
The widespread unanimity usually points to fake news, but not, I think, in this case.
Scrambling to save face. Statements from gubernatorial candidates Frank and Griebel, as well as Newtown, have been deflective and terse.
From Newtown’s First Selectman, Dan Rosenthal: “At no time did Kyle have access to town funds and there are no complaints from donors alleging malfeasance. Should a complaint arise we stand ready to investigate promptly and fully.”
Newtown resident and lieutenant governorship candidate Monte Frank tweeted: “I am devastated about the news concerning Kyle Lyddy. I’m as shocked as everyone else who knows him. The campaign immediately transitioned his responsibilities to Chris Cooper & Chris DuPont & we are confident that they will guide us forward & sustain our momentum for the people.”
Frank is the Cohen & Wolf attorney who represented the City of Newtown, the Newtown Public Schools and the Newtown Police Department, which acted as a united front during FOIA hearings with Wolfgang Halbig.
A noted gun-control activist, Frank is also the founder of Team 26, a cycling group that lobbies for gun control.
A narrow escape. At one point during Wolfgang Halbig’s determined yet stonewalled FOIA requests (March 2015), Frank canceled a commission hearing on the illegally withheld documents in order to participate in a Team 26 bicycle race.
It’s doubtful that his bike will deliver him from this most recent imbroglio. But maybe he’d be better off sticking to bike races than gubernatorial ones. The Frank/Griebel campaign has been lagging in the polls (low single digits) and fundraising has been disappointing. No one is commenting on why.
Other criminals? The Sandy Hook 12-14-12 incident already has in its orbit at least one ex-con: Kevin Riley, whose former business, Hartford Trade Service, LLC, was engaged by the State of Connecticut to cremate the alleged remains of accused perpetrator, Adam Lanza.
With this latest development, it appears that more scrutiny may be called for. Avarice is one thing. Embezzlement is another.
H/T: Anne Berg