Connecticut Post, Friday, September 25, 1998
By DANIEL TEPFER, Staff writer
BRIDGEPORT _ The owner of a private school in Maine may have overheard a nephew of Ethel Kennedy confess to killing a young Greenwich girl more than 20 years ago, but he wasn't going to admit it to a grand jury on Thursday. Joseph Ricci, the owner and executive director of the Elan School in Poland, Maine, spent several hours behind locked doors in Superior Court with prosecutors and one-man grand juror Judge George Thim, but refused to testify about any conversations he might have had or overheard involving Michael Skakel, who attended Elan from 1978 to 1980. Ricci's lawyer, Edward MacColl, said later: "We have a duty to protect the confidences of kids who attended the facility at the time Mr. Skakel attended the facility." But that didn't let the rather flamboyant Ricci, who had twice run unsuccessfully for governor of Maine, off the hook. Moments after emerging from the grand jury room he was served by State Inspector Frank Garr with an application for a court order directing him to testify. Ricci, his lawyers, state prosecutors and lawyers for the Skakel family then went before Superior Court Judge G. Sarsfield Ford, who scheduled a hearing on the order for Oct. 8. At that time Ricci will have to prove he is legally protected from having to testify. His position will be supported by Michael Skakel's lawyer, Michael Sherman, who on Thursday filed a motion for an injunction to prevent Ricci from testifying. Later, Ricci refused to divulge anything he said or was said to him before the grand juror. Surrounded by media, however, he added, "I really don't have anything to offer." Fifteen-year-old Martha Moxley was beaten to death with a golf club Oct. 30, 1975, on the grounds of her family's home in the exclusive gated community of Belle Haven. No one has been charged in the slaying.