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Weekly papers’ future in doubt after editor's indictment

Tefft accused of possessing child pornography

September 12, 2013
Updated 10:57 p.m.
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Notice in  Greenwich Journal and Salem Press announcing the paper is ending and that editor Tim Tefft has been indicted on federal child pornography charges.
Notice in Greenwich Journal and Salem Press announcing the paper is ending and that editor Tim Tefft has been indicted on federal child pornography charges.

— The future of the Greenwich Journal and Salem Press is in doubt following the indictment of its editor on child pornography charges.

Timothy Tefft, 64, who has been with the newspaper for almost two decades, was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on three counts of possession of child pornography, according to a notice in Thursday’s edition of the paper, which says he plans to resign at the end of the week.

“Without him, it appears that the paper can no longer be published,” the notice reads.

Online extra

A copy of the federal indictment against Timothy Tefft is available on the Around Saratoga blog.

But in a phone interview, Sally Tefft, who answered the newspaper’s listed phone, said the paper will continue to operate without any break in its weekly publication schedule.

“We expect to publish on the 19th as usual,” she said.

She declined to say what her position is at the newspaper or confirm she is related to Timothy Tefft.

The federal indictment, which was filed in New York’s Northern District, says Tefft possessed thumb drives with images of child pornography in 2010 and 2011.

He allegedly accessed the images in Saratoga and Washington counties.

Earlier this year, alumni at a Connecticut school where Tefft taught in the 1980s said they were abused by him, according to a post on the school’s website.

Following the first allegation, two other former students came forward and accused him of abuse.

The school hired a private investigation firm that confronted Tefft, who denied the allegations of abuse but admitted to details investigators felt lent credibility to the accusations against him.

Those findings were referred to law enforcement authorities, including officials in upstate New York.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth C. Coombe wouldn’t comment on whether her office was notified about the sex abuse allegations.

No criminal charges resulted from the allegations by the three alumni, in part because they never came forward to local police, said Kraig Gray, a spokesman for the Greenwich, CT police department. Because no complaint was made to the police, Gray said, "We never had an opportunity."

According to a newspaper report, Tefft left the Connecticut school for reasons not related to abuse allegations.

Timothy Tefft did not return a call for comment.

The possible end of the Greenwich Journal and Salem Press comes less than a month before the paper would have celebrated 171 years of publication.

“The paper appreciates the loyalty its subscribers, advertising patrons and readers have extended to it for as long as anyone can remember,” reads the notice. “We regret that we are forced to this decision and apologize for the inconvenience.”

Contradicting the notice, Sally Tefft said the paper will continue, although she didn’t know who the next editor would be.

She declined to answer additional questions.

 
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