Fall River City Council President Steps Down After Arrest
FALL RIVER — Fall River's City Council President Pamela Laliberte-Lebeau has resigned from the council leadership role following her arrest late last month on criminal harassment, witness intimidation and other charges.
Although Laliberte-Lebeau was not present at Tuesday night's city council meeting, a letter she wrote to her colleagues announcing her decision to step down was read into the record by city clerk Alison Bouchard.
The beleaguered council president has kept a low profile after her phone was seized in August during a Westport Police investigation into the alleged harassment of a town resident, the wife of one of Laliberte-Lebeau's real estate partners.
Laliberte-Lebeau was arrested shortly afterwards on charges of criminal harassment and making annoying telephone call or electronic communications, as well as two felony charges of intimidating a witness, juror, or police or court official, according to Fall River District Court documents.
In a Westport police report detailing the investigation, the detective said the 50-year-old realtor admitted to using a "burner" phone app to send harassing text messages to the wife of a colleague with whom she was having an affair.
After Laliberte-Lebeau's phone was forensically searched, police detailed the alleged evidence of her text messages to the wife and to a friend.
The police report also included purported evidence on Laliberte-Lebeau's phone of internet searches like "Can you sue your spouse's lover?" and "anonymously tell someone their spouse is cheating" as well as "can police trace burner app" and many others.
In her letter to the city council, Laliberte-Lebeau wrote, "This has been such a devastating experience for me personally, that moving forward I know I will not be able to give the position of president the attention it deserves."
She noted that she is "very fortunate" to have been elected for four consecutive terms, but "these past few weeks have been a very emotionally painful experience for me."
"I have never been accused of a crime before, but I am certain my experience would not be considered normal," she wrote, adding that "the whole truth needs to be told."
Lebeau asked her colleagues to choose a councilor to fill the role until a new president is chosen in January.
"We're not just councilors, we're humans too," she concluded.
The Fall River City Council decided to vote on a new council president at its next meeting on Sept. 27.
Councilor Bradford Kilby said "This is a courageous step," adding that he hopes "that everything works out."
Watch the full City Council meeting in which Laliberte-Lebeau's letter was read at the end: