Friday June 8, 2012

The plea agreement reached in the case involving Meredith Nilan hitting Peter Moore with her car last De cember in Pittsfield should put to rest a debate triggered by the appearance of favoritism.

Ms. Nilan, the daughter of Berkshire probation chief Clifford Nilan, entered a guilty plea Wednesday on a charge of misdemea nor negligent operation of a motor vehicle, which was converted to a continuation without a finding of guilt. A count of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident was dismissed. The charges were brought on an appeal following the unconscionable decision in January by Westfield Clerk Magis trate Nathan Byrnes that there was no cause to pursue the case against Ms. Nilan in court. There quite obviously was just cause, and this determination was reversed by Springfield District Court Judge William P. Hadley.

Controversy surrounding the circumstances of the accident, combined with a magistrate’s decision inviting speculation that Ms. Nilan was accorded favorable treatment because of her father’s influential position, led to an Internet firestorm, and a Las Vegas man with Berkshire ties has been charged with making phone calls threatening Ms. Nilan’s life. We assume justice will emerge in this case, as it has in the Meredith Nilan case.