Howard Stern disputes authenticity of e-mail to RTM; uses PI Ed Opperman
Howard Stern is going from star of "Private Parts" to private dick.
The shock jock's satellite radio show recently enlisted the services of a Colorado Springs, Colo., private investigator to look into the origin of an e-mail sent to members of the Representative Town Meeting, attacking the character of longtime Stern sidekick/producer Gary "Baba Booey" Dell'Abate.
The Feb. 17 e-mail, which opposes Dell'Abate's candidacy for a seat on the parks board, came from a Internet Protocol address on the town's network, according to the investigation.
"I had a gut feeling from the beginning that it wasn't real because it was so over the top," Dell'Abate said. "I'm glad that it's been exposed as a fake. Whoever wrote it won't stand behind it, which gives it much less validity."
First Selectman Peter Tesei confirmed to the newspaper he has ordered the town's information technology director to look into the source of the e-mail.
"People should be discriminant in their behavior and use of e-mail," Tesei said. "It's wrong to do that."
RTM members received the e-mail on Feb. 17 from a person identifying himself as 20-year town resident Michael Obrien, who accused Dell'Abate of degrading women.
"He hires young women models, prostitutes and porn stars to go on his show just to have Howard Stern and other members of the cast (including himself) treat the women like garbage," the e-mail said. "In other cases, they have even put young girls in chains or tied them up and called them `slaves' as a `so-called' joke."
The e-mail's author, who questioned whether Dell'Abate is an appropriate role model for children, did not respond to a message from Greenwich Time.
"I honestly would not leave my daughters alone with this man," the e-mail said. "Please protect our community, daughters, young men and our fine parks from Gary Dell'Abate."
Dell'Abate's appointment to the volunteer board is subject to confirmation by the full 230-member RTM on March 14.
"It made me sound like I was a pedophile," Dell'Abate said of the e-mail during a recent sound bite on "Howard 100 News" on Sirius Satellite Radio.
Playing an advisory role in town government, the nine-member parks board has been a springboard for everything from beach-access policies and playground projects to park fees and a master inventory of available playing fields. Terms run for three years.
A resident of Old Greenwich for the past 16 years who is married with two sons, Dell'Abate was unanimously nominated in January by the selectmen for the parks board.
"There's one thing to have public debate, and then there's this, which is borderline libel," said Selectman Drew Marzullo, who recruited Dell'Abate for the job.
"I support any investigation that the first selectman feels is warranted. I also fully support Gary in defending his honor, but it's unfortunate that he has to in the first place. I will say this again, Gary will be an excellent addition to the parks board."
Tesei urged the public not to jump to conclusions about the e-mail's origin, saying that many people have access to the town's computer network.
"There are people who are now on town boards and commissions who have town e-mail addresses," Tesei said. "That doesn't necessarily mean it's a town of Greenwich employee."
The private investigator used by "Howard 100 News" was identified by program officials as Ed Opperman, who runs a website called www.emailrevealer.com.
Stern's show would not reveal the IP address that was used to send the e-mail, however.