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Police: City Councilman’s Email Identity Stolen

Turns out that the email sent to a Lakewood Observer board member threatening the newspaper’s publisher was traced to a “spoof” website in Czech Republic.

A investigation has determined that a city councilman’s email identity was taken and used to threaten the publisher of the .

Last month, Ward 3 councilman after an email was sent to Stephen Davis, a board member of the Lakewood Observer.

The email called for Jim O’Bryan, the newspaper’s publisher, to be removed from his position, with the sender threatening to use the “full force and power of my position to make this clear.”

According to the police report, obtained through a public records request, the email was sent from a server in Czech Republic known as a “spoofing” site.

The website allows people to send emails to others while posing as someone else.

A subpoena of AT&T records indicated that the email in question did not come from the councilman’s server, according to the police report.

Records also show that the councilman’s email account was not compromised.

On June 25, Davis posted the email on the Observation Deck — the Observer’s online forum — and a flurry of comments followed.

Juris has maintained that he didn’t send the email, noting that his account had been “manipulated.” He filed a police report later in the day.

Juris said that he was disappointed that the board member was “so easily fooled by this hoax,” which sparked a “lynch mob mentality.” 

“Overall, it seemed like a plotline from ‘Mean Girls,’ not behavior of adults who are supposed to be credible members of our community,” he said.

Juris said he will be “waiting patiently” for an apology from those involved.

“Hopefully, others can use this as a learning experience as to how important it is to question strange emails and not to rush to judgment,” he said. “Seems that this could have been avoided with a phone call, but instead a group of individuals with ties to the Observer lined up to all reply within the first hour of the post then lost further credibility by questioning if the police report was filed.”

Davis said he wanted to look at the police report before commenting on the story.

“I’ve invested thousands of hours in this town, with the charter review and in the library and the schools — for the interest of good government,” he said. “Someone chooses language and context that hit my biggest, barest wires? I don’t get it."

O'Bryan declined to comment.

Police Chief Timothy Malley said the investigation is closed, “pending further leads or developments,” however, it’s not known who sent the email. And since it was traced to the Czech Republic, finding out is nearly impossible.

“There are sites that allow someone to send a fake email,” Malley said. “I don’t know how this is prevented from happening, short of outlawing those sites.”

Juris said he doesn’t know who sent the email, but added that he’ll “leave the speculation and conjecture to the bloggers.”

Jingleheimer Smith July 19, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Good thing we grabbed all those fake documents before Patch took them down. Because I don't believe a word of it and this will be investigated further.
Colin McEwen July 19, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Fake documents?
Jingleheimer Smith July 19, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Where'd they go then?
Colin McEwen July 19, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Look at the photo. Look below it. There's the PDF. And if you plan to comment further, please use your real name — per our terms of use (lakewood-oh.patch.com/terms) — particularly if you're going to call someone out.
Rick Uldricks July 19, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Is the first part of your name "John Jacob"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Jacob_Jingleheimer_Schmidt
Jingleheimer Smith July 19, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Thank you.
Jane Doe July 19, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Thank you Patch for using the shadiest looking picture of Mr. Juris, hilarious! Of course Lakewood is going to cover for their own..I have contacted every media outlet for an unbiased investigation to be completed.
Colin McEwen July 19, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Please use your real name when posting on Patch, per our terms of use (lakewood-oh.patch.com/terms). Thanks!
Jane Doe July 19, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Jane Doe is my real name. Thanks!
Rick Uldricks July 19, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Jane - was Cleveland Scene one of the media outlets that you contacted? http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2012/06/29/lakewood-coucilman-caught-up-in-hacking-kerfuffle
Jane Doe July 19, 2012 at 07:17 PM
@ Rick- Yes, it was..thank you for the link!
Kevin Lengle July 19, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Where did all those documents in the pdf come from? Pretty complete!
Colin McEwen July 19, 2012 at 08:18 PM
The Lakewood Police Department. That's the official police report in its entirety.
Kevin Lengle July 19, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Great reporting, Colin!
Steve July 19, 2012 at 09:35 PM
What does 'report received, juvenile bureau' really mean? And the incident report say's 'cleared 6/25/12 18:06? How can that be??? Anyone have any answers to these?
Kristi July 20, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Hmmm. Not sure I buy it. His account was hacked? C'mon.
Kevin Lengle July 20, 2012 at 12:16 AM
The Police aren't saying that his account was hacked. They're saying that after exploring the email's (full) header information, it shows that the email came from a email-spoofing site located in The Czech Republic, where they don't record who did what on their site. Using this website anybody can send an email to anyone else using anyone else's email address so it looks like it really came from them. Not sure what the "juvenile bureau" is about.
Patrick Byrne July 20, 2012 at 10:30 PM
What's wrong with you....do you really believe your delusions of reality??
Jane Doe July 23, 2012 at 01:27 PM
@Patrick Byrne-uh no, I don't...

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