Niles walked across the street to the office. He unlocked the door, walked in and locked up behind him. He opened his desk drawer and pulled out his electronic tablet and walked upstairs to Lucinda’s office.
“Come up to visit for a while?” Lucinda said.
“Not really, Lucinda,” Niles said, “I’ve got something else on my mind.”
She smiled. “Well the windows are covered and I can lock the door.”
“You see, Lucinda,” Niles said, “you can’t be trusted.”
“What on earth are you talking about?” Lucinda said. “I can keep a secret.”
“I want to show you something and you can draw your own conclusions,” Niles said.
He opened the electronic tablet, hit play, and sat in on the desk. The video of her enticing Ernie began to play.
“What is this all about?” Lucinda said.
“It’s about you admitting to fraud and making false claims to an officer of the law,” Niles said. “This is very serious.”
“That’s entrapment,” Lucinda said.
“Ernie did not ask you to do one single thing,” Niles said and closed the tablet. “Unless you want to see the whole thing.”
“Nah,” Lucinda said. “You probably get off on watching it.”
“Not really,” Niles said, “it really makes me nauseous.”
“So,” Lucinda said, “you going to charge me with anything?”
“That’s up to you,” Niles said. “It is best we keep this quiet. Often when a public employee acts inappropriately, they can resign without publicity or anything appearing on their record. I have Ernie’s assurance he won’t say anything.”
“You want me to quit, right?” Lucinda said.
“That’s right,” Niles said.
“Good,” Lucinda said, “I’ll finish out the week.”
“No, Lucinda,” Niles said. “I want you to sign a letter of resignation effective immediately.”
“What kind of reason do I give?” Lucinda said.
“Very simply, you feel unsafe,” Niles said. “Who could blame you?”
“Isn’t this blackmail?” Lucinda said.
“No,” Niles said.
“Maybe I should talk to a lawyer first,” Lucinda said.
“Maybe I should talk to Ernie Appleton,” Niles said. “He’s the one who really has a lawsuit along with criminal charges. Lucinda, what you did was criminal.”
“I ain’t used to going down without a fight,” Lucinda said.
“I’m going to count to 10,” Niles said. “If you haven’t started your letter of resignation by then, I call the county prosecutor, Ernie Appleton, and then escort you from the town hall.”
Lucinda began typing. She printed the letter, signed it, and handed it to Niles.
“Give me your keys,” Niles said. “If you have any personal items you can’t take with you now, you will have to get a box and come back to get them or if you like just leave them outside the door.”
Lucinda slung on her coat and stashed a couple items in her pocket. She exited the town hall without a word.