YET ANOTHER HOAX: Oregon County Commissioner Candidate Charged With Faking Racist Letter, Filing False Police Report
An Oregon candidate for Umatilla County commissioner has been charged with filing a false police report after Hermiston Police determined that he faked a racist letter that he claimed to have recieved. Jonathan Lopez posted an image of an anti-Latino letter supposedly sent to him after running for county commissioner, an election in which he finished in fourth place in May.
“Don’t waste your time trying to become anything in this county we will make sure you never win and your family suffers along with all the other (expletive) Mexicans in the area,” read the hate-filled, yet inauthentic screed. “Sincerely, America!”
Lopez tried to brush over the dishonest behavior in a discussion with the East Oregonian, claiming that he was trying to make a point about “racism” in the area by performing the hoax. “I never meant to file a report, it just kind of spiraled out,” said the former candidate. Lopez argued he never meant to “mislead” the public.
Police Chief Jason Edmiston described Lopez as having admitted that the letter was fraudulent. “Our investigation has shown that Mr. Lopez wrote the letter himself and made false statements to the police and on social media. The end result is a verbal and written admission by Mr. Lopez that the letter was fabricated.”
Hermiston Police also suspect Lopez of fabricating claims of serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, advertising himself as a veteran in official election documents distributed to the citizens of Umatilla County. Falsely claiming the status of a veteran for the purposes of a political campaign is a violation of the 2013 Stolen Valor Act.
The Oregon man has been charged with a single count of filing a false police report, having reported the inauthentic letter to police.
Lopez’s public Facebook profile was removed in the days following the announcement of criminal charges.