Republican official says he’s the victim after being arrested on harassment charges: This puts ‘my livelihood in jeopardy’

On Thursday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that John Lorenzo, the Republican chair of the Rostraver Township Board of Commissioners in Pennsylvania has been arrested on harassment charges for using social media and burner phones to try to ruin his political rivals — but claims he's the victim in all this.

"A yearlong investigation started after fellow Commissioner Gary N. Beck Sr., a Democrat, complained to police that someone had set up a Facebook account 'in his name, using photographs of him in various activities and demographic information,'" reported Paul Pierce. "Township police and a Westmoreland County detective learned that Beck didn’t have a Facebook account." The fake account, suspiciously, urged people to vote for "my good friend Lorenzo."

"Beck also reported receiving unsolicited text messages over the period that he described as 'annoying,' including complaints over decisions regarding a nearby landfill," said the report. One text read: 'You allow it to happen. You have let us all down … how can you sleep at night?' Investigators allege Lorenzo sent multiple anonymous messages to Beck over months “using three burner numbers to mask his true identity,” according to court documents."

Lorenzo, who was elected as a Democrat but changed his affiliation to Republican later, faces charges of harassment by communication, criminal use of a communication device, unlawful use of a computer and unlawfully intercepting electronic communications.

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According to the report, Lorenzo denies any wrongdoing and claims he is the real victim.

"'These accusations will not define who I am. I never thought politics could sink to these depths," said Lorenzo in a statement to the paper. "These lies have absolutely devastated my family and has my livelihood in jeopardy. But make no mistake about it, the truth will come out in the end, and I will be vindicated. I have not done anything wrong nor broken any laws. This is all a dirty political driven stunt with a false narrative to smear my name."

You can read more here.

Rostraver Township Commissioner Accused Of Harassing Opponents Through Texts, Social Media www.youtube.com

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