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Chicopee mayor returns to office

aces charges of extortion

CHICOPEE -- A day after being arrested and charged with extorting $10,000 in campaign contributions from two Chicopee businessmen, Mayor Richard Goyette appeared briefly at his City Hall office yesterday morning, and then left for the day.

His administrative assistant said the mayor told her he plans to keep working, but some city officials are frustrated that Goyette has not contacted them since the FBI arrested him Tuesday morning.

''I think he needs to say something," said Keith Rattell, president of the city's board of aldermen. ''He needs to communicate to City Hall offices what he's doing."

''He said he will be working on a daily basis and won't be making any statements today," said Ellie Maciolek, Goyette's administrative assistant. She said Goyette worked on papers at the office. Maciolek said the mayor told her he'd be back in the afternoon, but he never returned.

The 36-year-old mayor, who is seeking a second two-year term next week, did not return a telephone message left at his home.

Goyette is accused of accepting $5,000 cash contributions from two business owners. The FBI case included the use of surveillance cameras.

He was released on personal recognizance after appearing in US District Court on Tuesday. A grand jury is expected to review the charges.

Investigators say one of the illegal payments was from the owner of a towing company who wanted to secure his city contract. They say the other was from a developer who expected the mayor to help him move a project through procedural hurdles.

Under the law, individual campaign contributions cannot exceed $500, and if they're made in cash, they can't be more than $50.

Goyette's opponent in the Nov. 8 election, Michael Bissonnette, said that if he's elected, he would order audits of all city contracts approved during Goyette's term.

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