Boston Herald

State worker seeks apology after porn charges dismissed

By Laurel J. Sweet   |   Tuesday, June 17, 2008 

Michael and Robin Fiola
Michael and Robin Fiola
The lawyer for a former state employee against whom child pornography charges were dropped after it was determined that a virus on his work laptop likely caused the illegal downloads wants the the state inspector general to investigate the case.

But first, Timothy Bradl, a partner in the law firm Denner Pellegrino, wants the Department of Industrial Accidents to apologize to its former employee, Michael Fiola, and his wife, Robin.

“They have destroyed this man’s life,” Bradl said yesterday after the Herald reported that the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office - based on the findings of computer forensic analysts that Fiola, 53, was more likely a victim of Internet spammers - dropped its prosecution of the ostracized workers’ compensation investigator.

“We have managed to expose the allegations as a fraud and DIA at this point only has one course of action,” Bradl said. “That is to step up, do the right thing and apologize to this man and his wife.”
Fiola is appealing his termination but doesn’t want his job back.

DIA spokeswoman Linnea Walsh said yesterday, “We are not privy to the details of the criminal investigation of the district attorney’s office or attorney general’s office. However, those offices are charged with determining whether to bring criminal charges and not with determining whether there was a proper basis to discharge Mr. Fiola from his position with the DIA.”

Fiola was fired last year after the department found his laptop was filled with porn, which Fiola insisted he was unaware had been downloading into an internal file for months.

“No one cared to listen. No one cared what happened to us,” said Robin Fiola, recalling the hours she spent crying with her husband. “I was afraid it was going to kill one of us before the case was dismissed.”

Opinion Letter:

A couple crucified

By Eric S. Atwater  |   Wednesday, June 18, 2008 

I feel compelled to support Michael and Robin Fiola for their having to live in hell the past several years (June 16).

Their so-called friends who ran when the allegations came out were not friends. I would kiss them off. They didn’t even give their “friend” the benefit of the doubt.

There needs to be a law against such public hangings before a complete, competent and secure investigation is done. Too many lives are ruined due to false allegations and speculation. Authorities have no right to publicly prosecute anyone, possibly ruining a reputation for life, without first conducting a proper, thorough investigation.

I wish the Fiolas the best in rebuilding their tarnished reputations.

Eric S. Atwater, Wakefield

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