LOWELL -- A 52-year-old Lowell woman accused of threatening to "shoot dead" a city secretary has been ordered to stay in counseling and stay away from City Manager Bernie Lynch's office.

In Lowell District Court, Joanne Gionet was placed on pretrial probation until June 4, 2014 to resolve a threats charge dating back to 2011. As part of her probation, she is barred from calling the city manager's office except in an emergency.

According to court documents, at 2:50 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2011, police were dispatched to the city manager's office for a report of a past threat.

Police give the following account:

A secretary reported that minutes earlier she received a call from an upset Gionet, who wanted to speak to Lynch.

When Gionet was told that Lynch was not in the office, she became enraged and demanded to know where Lynch was. When the secretary refused to provide that information, Gionet allegedly told the victim, "I'm going to come down there and shoot you dead with a gun."

Gionet, who is known to the office staff due to her other phone calls, was warned that she should not make comments like that. The call ended. A short time later, Gionet allegedly called Lynch's office again looking for the city manager. The victim told Gionet that she could not speak to her any longer and hung up.

Police allege that Gionet regularly called the manager's office, police and Lowell Police Professionals Standards Office. She seems to be intoxicated when she calls, according to court documents.

At the time of the calls, Gionet was on probation. She was arrested on Feb. 18, 2011 for assault and battery on a person over 60 or disabled, documents state. Her calls seemed focused on allegations she was abused by officers during her arrest.

An investigation by the police Professional Standards Department cleared all city employees of any wrongdoing and found Gionet's complaint was not justified, according to court documents.

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