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Wednesday, January 11, 2006
By STEPHANIE BARRY, firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRINGFIELD – While being charged with extortion prompted former Chicopee Mayor Richard R. Goyette’s retreat from public life, it also triggered a plunge in his private life.
An affidavit filed by Goyette’s estranged wife, Dawn, who was granted a year-long restraining order against Goyette on Friday, states the ex-mayor stopped taking anti-depression medication after his Nov. 1 arrest and has treated his family to frequent outbursts.
Goyette yesterday was called before a federal magistrate judge to review the terms of his bail in the wake of the couple’s domestic troubles. U.S. District Magistrate Judge Kenneth P. Neiman declined to impose random drug tests and other bail restrictions suggested by a prosecutor.
“Unfortunately for Mr. Goyette, his world is crumbling around him,” Neiman said yesterday.
Goyette has pleaded innocent to federal extortion charges; he is accused of taking $5,000 campaign bribes from two local businessmen. The exchanges were recorded by the FBI.
Goyette, 37, was arrested a week before the November election. He dropped out of the race and ceased public appearances, but refused to leave his post until his term expired. Dawn Goyette applied for an emergency restraining order on Jan. 2, the day Michael D. Bissonnette was sworn in as the new Chicopee mayor.
Her sworn statement, filed in Chicopee District and federal courts, states Goyette has been “out of control” since she asked for a divorce. It also states that Goyette:
- hit the family dog in front of their children;
- shoved his wife and screamed obscenities in her face, and
- took the city car three weeks before his term expired and backed into an adversary’s vehicle.
Goyette’s lawyer, Michael O. Jennings, categorized the confrontation that preceded the restraining order as nonviolent.
“It was a loud, boisterous fight … They are under tremendous strain,” from the investigation and public scandal, Jennings said outside court yesterday.
Neiman yesterday also declined to impose on Goyette a broader stay-away order from potential witnesses against him. The former mayor was previously ordered to avoid the two witnesses from whom he is accused of taking bribes.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William M. Welch II told Neiman that Goyette had been in “altercations” with a Chicopee alderman and another elected official. He would not elaborate.
Several aldermen said they had not heard of the incidents. Others did not return calls for comment.
Welch yesterday asked the judge to require Goyette to provide the court with a chronicle on his search for new work.
“Unless I’m mistaken, he’s now unemployed,” Welch said.
Goyette arrived for court 30 minutes late yesterday, wearing jeans. Afterward, he marched past a group of reporters to his new sports utility vehicle, which his wife told police he purchased after he lost his job.