Last Friday roughly 15 residents of Canton received cease and desist letters from Attorney Geln Hannington, on behalf of Chris Albert. All of these people shared opinions about Chris, who is an elected official in town (Selectman), and his family’s involvement in the murder of John O’Keefe. I have only seen the second page of the letter, as the people who received them are too scared to send the entire document. It clearly states that if the recipient does not give into the demands of Chris Albert, then they will have a lawsuit filed against them which will cost them money in damages and attorney’s fees.
I understand that when people who have never been sued before receive letters like this it can be intimidating, but they’re pretty harmless. I get them all the time and not once have I ever been sued by the person who sent the demand letter. I’ve been sued many times, but none of the people who sued me ever gave me a chance to remove the content with a demand letter first.
The real issue here is that an elected official is trying to silence the voices of the people he represents and prevent them from speaking critically of him. This is the kind of thuggish behavior that the Albert and McCabe families have been able to get away with for far too long. If people have to pay thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees in order to speak out against elected officials they don’t like, then they will be less likely to speak publicly moving forward. This will have a chilling effect on free speech and democracy. This letter from Chris Albert’s attorney is a direct attack on the First Amendment, and he should resign immediately as a result of it.
Here’s an email we got from a Cantonian about it:
Hi, Turtleboy. Chris Albert had more than half a dozen Canton residents served with legal papers this afternoon (by a flea-bitten process server who looked like he needed a bath and a shave). They were bullying letters threatening to sue them if they didn’t remove Facebook posts that Albert doesn’t like by May 1. This is a Canton elected official talking to voters. The letters contained statements like “You have defamed Mr. Albert” (it’s hard to defame Chris Albert, he is such a low life). Some of the letters also said: “My client understands that you may be upset because your preferred candidate for selectperson was not reelected. That, however, does not give you license to post lies and ad hominem attacks against him.” (That refers to Lisa Lopez, who lost by 120 votes — she had a degree from Yale Law School and lots of experience and Albert didn’t finish high school and had zero experience serving on any Canton board — he showed up on election day and didn’t know how to vote or what his precinct is, an election worker said.)
The Facebook posts that he demanded must be taken down were not lies — for example, some referred to Albert pleading guilty in 1995 to vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident, and getting a sentence of two years, with six months to be served in jail, plus two years probation (a good deal for leaving a young man bleeding at the side of Rt. 95 and taking off and being on the lam for 30 hours). That’s just a fact. It happened. You can’t sue someone for saying the truth. But he thinks he can silence people with bullying.
See this fat man (picture below) in the yellow tie taking up two seats at this week’s Select Board meeting? That’s the scumbag attorney who sent the uber-dumb threatening letters. It’s like he doesn’t know what libel is. His name is Glen Hannington. He has an AOL email address — that kind of sums him up. Here’s his profile: http://www.hanningtonlaw.com/Profile.html. He saved bingo, apparently (according to that profile). Oh, and of course he lives in Canton.
He scared a lot of innocent family people in Canton this afternoon with his bullying letters. Here’s an example of the way they start: “Please be advised that I have been retained by Christopher Albert to investigate and take legal action against you for several unwarranted and defamatory statements published by you on Facebook” (referring to true statements and also opinion protected by the Constitution).
They end with, “If you do not comply with the above demands by May 1, 2023, we will have no choice but to file a lawsuit against you. In this lawsuit we will pursue both damages and attorney’s fees and costs incurred by my client. This letter is your one and only chance to resolve this matter prior to the filing of a lawsuit. My client reserves any and all rights to pursue any other legal action against you as he so chooses.” That sums up the Albert family, Chris especially: “As he so chooses.”
Again, this is over FACEBOOK POSTS THAT ARE TRUE STATEMENTS OR OPINIONS, sent by an elected town official to Canton voters who have written things he doesn’t like. The fat goomba attorney doesn’t know that you can’t sue someone for saying something that’s true, and you can’t sue someone for expressing opinions. What a dumb asshole. That stupid man — who should be disbarred for harassing honest people on behalf of his criminal client — doesn’t even know libel law. Chris Albert’s message to Canton — don’t dare say a bad word about me, even if it’s true, or I’ll take your house and your retirement savings away from you. And a lot of people are scared that that, as well as by all the other bullying tactics the Albert mafia clan uses.
With the background removed…He drove around Canton yesterday delivering very scary legal letters from Chris Albert to more than a dozen people who said things Albert didn’t like on Facebook. That scared a lot of good, decent, hardworking taxpayers out of their minds, because they don’t know that you can’t be sued for saying things that are true and for expressing your opinion (and even if you do inadvertently make a factual error, Albert is a public figure, so the bar is very high to be able to sue). Those poor taxpayers think the selectman running the town’s $132 million budget (that they funded — Albert only pays his taxes when the state levies tax liens, as it did 11 times in the past decade) can actually sue them. And his lawyer, the washed-up Glen Hannington (who looks a little bit like this guy, but with a badly-fitting suit and coffee-stained tie) is pretending he would actually risk his law license and risk getting laughed out of the courthouse by suing people for posting opinion and facts on Facebook. Those poor people in Canton. It must be like living in Russia.
This guy, the process server, looks a little hung over to me, but I would be too if I had sunk so low I had to work for the Albert family.
The only part of that email I take issue with is when the emailer said that Glen Hannington doesn’t know libel law. He knows exactly what libel is, he just thinks he can intimidate people into censoring their speech because he’s a big fat scary man with a law degree and a chin you could land a helicopter on.
Anyone can take anyone to court, regardless of whether or not there is merit. I’ve been sued dozens of times and never even come close to getting to a trial. When you win a meritless lawsuit you don’t get any of your legal fees back, and there are no vexatious litigant laws in Massachusetts.
Chris Albert has no business serving in town government, and I highly doubt he has voted in many town elections prior to suddenly wanting to get on the Board of Selectman. It just so happens that shortly after getting on he proposed adding 4 new police officers, and the list of new recruits is filled with Alberts and their friends.
But Chris also shouldn’t be on the Board because they’re in charge of allocating town resources (money), and Chris is a degenerate deadbeat with a long and documented history of not paying his bills.
Chris Albert failed to appear for a hearing in 2018 when he was sued by Midland Funding LLC as assignee of Credit One Bank, and ordered to pay a default judgement of $859.60.
The year before he defaulted again with Capital One Bank and was ordered to pay $1,097.26.
In 2016 he was sued by Lamparelli Oil, didn’t bother to show up for court, and was ordered to pay $1,428.59. He suddenly decided to pay off the debt he owed on April 18, 2023, shortly after we began writing about his family.
In 2017 Constellation Newenergy took his pizza shop to court, he of course defaulted, and and a capias was issued to track him down for payment. Eventually Constellation Newenergy just gave up as many people do when trying to get money from deadbeats.
In 2015 his pizza shop was sued by Reinhart Food Services in interest to Acquisition of Agar Supply Company. You may find this hard to believe, but Chris didn’t show up for court and defaulted.
Discover Bank took him to court in 2012, Chris didn’t feel like going, and a judgment of $5,752.21 was assessed against him. He didn’t show up for payment review, a capias was issued, they kept adding on court costs, but none of that really mattered because Chris has no intention of ever paying them anyway.
Anj, Corporation took him to court in 2010 and won a judgment of $3,231.57 after he defaulted. He suddenly decided to pay off this decade old debt in May of 2022, shortly after John O’Keefe was murdered at his brother’s house.
Fia Card Services won a judgment in 2010.
The year before that they won a judgment against Albert for $15,219.03.
So I have good news for all the people who received those demand letters – if he does sue you he probably won’t show up anyway since he apparently can’t figure out directions to the courthouse. And if he wins you can just not pay him and then get elected to the Board of Selectmen anyway.
The scary part of this isn’t that Chris Albert will win a judgment against someone for sharing their opinions about him on Facebook. It’s that he’s using the power of his office to intimidate people in order to send a message that dissent will not be tolerated in Canton. There’s a lot of that going around in that town right now.