Gerard Larsen filed an aggravated harassment complaint with East Hampton Town police on January 15, charging he has received “anonymous letters that threaten to expose fictitious information.” More disturbing, he charged, “the last letter issued a clear slanderous threat to my son.”
Now, Larsen said he intends to find out who the author or authors of the letters are. He’s hired Richard Picciochi of Access Forensics LLC, he said in a press release January 27, with the intent of analyzing written portions of the missives and comparing them to handwriting samples gathered from possible suspects.
The first anonymous letter was sent to Larsen on April 30, 2019 after he announced his intention to run for mayor. Two more were received in May and two in October. Three of the five went to him and the other two letters to close supporters.
One common thread in the letters was that the writers wanted Larsen to drop out of the mayor’s race, he said.
Larsen said he has repeatedly filed legal requests to obtain handwriting samples from village employees and others because although the letters were typed, the envelopes were handwritten. Larsen said it is clear the letter writers are supporters of East Hampton Village Board interim mayor Richard Lawler, who was deputy mayor at the time the letters were sent, and Barbara Borsack, Lawler’s deputy mayor and a board member at the time.
Borsack and Larsen are expected to square off in the mayor’s race come June. Neither Lawler nor Borsack could be reached for comment on this story which broke on deadline. The Independent will reach out to both for a follow-up article in the next issue if warranted.
Larsen also asked police to look into a letter published in the East Hampton Star on November 24. Larsen said the language of the letter suggests it may be connected to the threatening notes.
“What has happened to my family for almost a year is the very definition of dirty politics,” Larsen said. He declined to comment further.