The editor of Worcester Magazine has been placed on leave as the publisher investigates serious allegations that have been raised against him from City Councilor Michael Gaffney and a local blog, TurtleboySports.com.
Last week, the blog published a series of Facebook message screenshots that appear to be conversations between Walter Bird Jr. and various women. The messages contain flirtatious comments.
Gaffney told Turtleboy Sports that he received images of the Facebook messages from three women, who claim that Bird used his power and influence as an editor to make advances on them.
Worcester Magazine Publisher Kathy Real acknowledged the allegations in Thursday’s print edition of Worcester Magazine.
She writes: “Last week, a local blogger and elected official, collaborated in levying serious allegations pertaining to Worcester Magazine’s editor Walter Bird Jr. The allegations are reported to have occurred several years ago. Front and center for us is holding ourselves to the highest ethical standards. We take such allegations seriously.
“It is also very important that we investigate and report on the facts regarding the allegations. We also report on what we know about the malicious intent exhibited by the authors. Walter Bird is cooperating with Worcester Magazine.”
Gaffney wrote on Facebook that he felt he was being personally attacked by Worcester Magazine and its editor. In that post, he announced that he would be releasing information from the women in the messages.
Turtleboy Sports is a hybrid of blog, news website and tabloid published by Aidan Kearney.
Gaffney’s law firm has been an advertiser on the site.
The blog posts tell the stories of “Hoodrat heroes” and “Fupasloths,” derogatory terms for the subjects of the site’s articles. Many Turtleboy Sports stories are topped with long-winded headlines. For example: “Crazy Unfit Delusional Mother Goes On Extreme Facebook Rants, Blames Ex-Husband and DCF For Losing Custody Of Her Son, Starts A Gofundme To Win Him Back.”
In a blog post published on Aug. 17, Turtleboy wrote: “But today Worcester Magazine (which is free because no one would ever buy it) basically called him a white supremacist. We’ll blog about that later. But just understand that for now Gaffney has reached his breaking point with these people and he’s ready to spill the beans. It turns out that Wacky Walter Bird is actually a borderline sexual predator who uses his position as editor of a free newspaper to try to coerce his underlings into sexual flings.”
Bird could not immediately be reached for comment. It is unclear how long he will be placed on leave for.