A former First Selectman in Stafford was arrested on Monday after an investigation into missing files and documents. Anthony Frassinelli is currently a selectman in town.
Detectives say the current First Selectman in Stafford, Mary Mitta, told them that when she took office on November 21, 2017, she found that Frassinelli, the outgoing First Selectman, had erased all of the files and documents from his computer, which Mitta would be using in her capacity as first selectman.
She told investigators that once she found the files had been deleted, she contacted the Information Technology Director for the town who found that the hard drive had been erased and files from the town hall's server had been deleted. According to Mitta, the files that had been deleted were town files and emails.
On November 20, 2017, town IT employees say they downloaded all of Frassinelli's documents from his desktop computer onto a USB drive. They say typically what happens is the files from the outgoing First Selectman is copied and pasted onto the new First Selectman's desktop so that whatever was being worked on by the outgoing First Selectman will be there for the First Selectman to continue.
Mitta told police that when the IT Director and Executive Assistant to the First Selectman had left for the day on November 20, 2017, the day before she took office, the computer was working properly and the files and emails were on the computer.
Members of the IT Department were able to retrieve most of the files that had been deleted from the hard drive and the server that is shared by all of the departments in town hall. IT officials say 16 directories that were deleted contained thousands of files and had a deletion date of November 20, 2017 at 9:30 p.m.
The IT Department also were able to retrieve all of the documents from a Microsoft Surface Pro laptop that belonged to the Town of Stafford that had previously been used by Frassinelli. As First Selectman Mitta was going through the downloaded files, she says she noticed a program called Sexloader and noticed it had been downloaded in August of 2017.
The town spent $3,929.89 in overtime costs working to recover the deleted files, according to Mitta.
Investigators say they found 41 thumbnail images of adult pornography on the hard drive. The hard drive also contained pornographic images synched from an iPhone to the computer in August of 2015 and again in January of 2016. They say they also found internet searches from Frassinelli's last day in office looking for how to backup Android contacts to Google and how to backup an Android phone restore to an iPhone.
After a lengthy investigation involving numerous search and seizure warrants and forensic examinations, police were granted an arrest warrant for Frassinelli. He was located at his house on Monday and was placed under arrest. He is facing charges including computer crime and unlawful removal of records.
Frassinelli was released on a $5,000 non-surety bond and will be in court in Rockville on July 10.