Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bee And Thistle Storytellers

Litchfield author Andy Thibault is among six writers featured during the Sunday Night Storytellers series this spring at the Bee And Thistle Inn in Old Lyme. The series of dinner parties runs March 18 through April 29. Thibault's appearance is scheduled for 6 p.m. on April 29.

"We're quashing the winter doldrums," innkeeper Linnea Rufo said.

Thibault, author of Law & Justice in Everyday Life, published the award-winning Cool Justice column in The Connecticut Law Tribune from 2000-06. He currently publishes a blog on cops, courts, general news and the arts at

F. Lee Bailey described Thibault as "a gunslinger from the Old West, ready to fire at anything that moves -- especially if he doesn't take kindly to the movement ... He is in a way a corollary of Robin Hood; he takes from the powerful and gives to the weak."

Thibault's reporting on the Smolinski missing person / love triangle case last fall coincided with a request by the Waterbury police department to seek FBI assistance. A series he co-authored about a shady land deal and an attempt to shut down a Montessori school in Enfield has drawn the attention of corruption investigators. An extensive interview with Thibault about blogs was published in the Fall 2006 edition of Readings, the quarterly publication of The Connecticut Center for the Book.

He is an adjunct lecturer in English and a mentor in the MFA writing program at Western Connecticut State University. He is a consluting editor for the literary journal Connecticut Review and the author of several other books including The History of the Connecticut State Police and The 12-Minute MBA for Lawyers. Thibault chairs a non-profit foundation that awards $1,000 prizes annually to young poets and writers in Connecticut -- The IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers Trust. He is also a licensed professional boxing judge and a private investigator.

As chief investigator for the Washington, D.C. public interest law firm Judicial Watch, Thibault brought in from the cold two girlfriends of the late U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown as the firm probed cash for trade mission placements and other corruption in that agency.

Thibault delivered the 2004 Pew Memorial Lecture in Journalism at Widener University, Chester, Pa. His speech was reprinted in The Executive Speaker newsletter.

Other authors in the Bee and Thistle Inn series include: Robert Holland, The Voice of the Tree, March 18; and Mary-Ann Tirone Smith. Girls of a Tender Age, April 1.

The Bee and Thistle Inn sits on five acres by the Lieutenant River in Old Lyme. It has 11 guest rooms. The inn was built in 1756 as a private home. Patrons can reserve for the storytelling series and a three-course dinner at 860-434-1667 or by email at

Thibault has been an editor at publications including The Hartford Courant, The Commercial Record and The Times Leader, Wilkes Barre, Pa. His writing also has appeared in Connecticut Magazine and on "Page Six" of The New York Post. He is a former commissioner of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, a former vice chairman of the Litchfield Board of Education and a former board member of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. He has also served as vice president of the Litchfield-Morris Rotary.

Thibault's work as an investigative reporter and feature writer has earned numerous state and national awards, including a series that won first place prizes from the National Newspaper Association for investigative reporting, the New England Press Association for community service and the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

Thibault is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He also serves on the advisory board of the Connecticut Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress.

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