PITTSBURG (KDKA) — First he denied it, now he concedes it’s true.
Anti-drilling state representative Jesse White admits he used fictitious names and identities — like Victoria Adams — to attack pro-gas supporters on the internet.
Now, Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone confirms that he has launched an investigation to determine whether white has broken any laws.
Vittone told KDKA’s Andy Sheehan on the phone, “I’m aware of the allegations. I’m looking into them and I’m taking the appropriate steps.”
Nobody should be able to get away with anything like this.
Cecil Township Supervisor Elizabeth Cowden has already spoken with the da about what she believes has been white’s attack on her.
The fictitious poster Frank Reynolds accused her of being a “liar” — and there were also posts like one under the name “Lizzie” Cowden, in which Cowden appeared to be attacking herself:
“I’ll tell you who else is lying: me! It’s amazing what you people will believe,” the post read.
White — a practicing attorney — has already admitted to using aliases to attack to other people and Cowden says he should lose his law license.
“I think he should be disbarred if he did these things and I think he should go to prison,” Cowden said.
But legal experts say it’s unclear if White has broken any laws — stealing someone’s identity is a crime only if financial gain is involved and although there’s a bill making it illegal in Pennsylvania to impersonate someone on the internet, it’s not yet been signed into law.
Still, attorney Charles Kurowski says in civil court — victims could try to prove that White has attacked them using aliases.
“Once you file a slander suit or libel suit whatever you want to call it you can have the court order that website or server to release that information,” Kurowski said.
Today, White did not return an email request for comment, but in Harrisburg there are calls for both an ethics investigation and possible censure.
While using aliases on the internet may not be a crime, there are the voices who believe the state representative should be held accountable in some way, shape or form.