1 mystery solved, another remains
It’s personality election time in Peachtree City, as evidenced by the postings commenting on an otherwise rather bland letter by this year’s surviving challenger — Stephen Allen — who is trying to unseat incumbent Eric Imker.
One new anti-Allen and pro-Imker poster — Greenbelt — raised suspicions; a verification check validated the suspicion.
Thursday afternoon, I posted the following comment on TheCitizen.com:
“Greenbelt is committing identity fraud & election dirty tricks
“The Citizen has determined that the person posting as Greenbelt has posed for registration purposes as a real resident living in south Peachtree City.
“However, a phone call to that person for verification purposes has revealed that the person never signed up as Greenbelt and had no idea his real name, address and phone number had been used to scam The Citizen.
“In fact the real person is not supporting Eric Imker in the upcoming election.
“The Citizen has blocked this fraudulent user and is checking other registrations since last summer to determine if more fraud has occurred.
“The Citizen is also checking to see if any laws have been broken by this phony registration scam.
“We will be reporting more on this.”
I reported the incident to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, which later determined that no state laws appeared to have been broken.
Later Thursday afternoon, I received the following email:
“Dear Mr. Beverly:
“There is no need for you to further investigate who used Greenbelt today. I did.
“Am I in violation of your policy on posting, yes but I did not steal someone’s ID or use it knowing it was a fraud.
“Out of continued frustration that we have a mayor who continually lies on your blogs, a close friend provided me with, what I thought was their user name and password.
“Knowing that IP addresses are easily traceable, had I known what I learned from your post, I would never had used it. I trusted a good friend and that’s my mistake. I will not reveal who that friend is because it is their obligation to step forward as I have to you.
“Regarding the accusation I made concerning the mayor, at the next city council meeting, Dr. Pennington will advise city council that he, Paul and Skip pulled the records management system early on in the process and Eric, Kim and Vanessa did not know about it. That will be proof that the mayor continues to lie on the blogs.
“Hopefully, The Citizen will investigate that fact and if Dr. Pennington does not bring it up, then a call to ask him might be in order.
“Again, I did not use the user name and password knowing it was not legitimate but I believe it is important to notify you since my dealings with you have always been upfront and honest.
“My sincerest apologies and I will no longer post on the blogs.
Sussberg is a former member of the Peachtree City Planning Commission who resigned last year.
The unsuspecting person whose name was used to gain the Greenbelt registration is a retired Delta employee who supported Eric Imker two years ago in Imker’s first run for office. He said he had so many Imker signs in his yard he was afraid Code Enforcement was going to cite him.
This election cycle, the retiree is not supporting Imker, and stated that he supports Mayor Don Haddix in the mayor’s conflicts with Imker. He was shocked to learn that someone had used his name to gain a platform from which to attack Haddix and Imker’s opponent.
Sussberg already had a valid registration to post on the website, using his real name. Based on the above email and his violation of our terms of service, his privilege to blog on the website has been rescinded.
The irony is palpable: Perpetrating a lie in order to expose a “lie.” I suspect there's a lot more of that going on in this political season.
I’m still curious: Who was the “friend” who had knowledge of this Delta retiree, down to his street address and phone number?