A small-town councillor was suspended for two days after posting a racist slur on Facebook, deleting his account, and then having his hard drive destroyed. But Don Cardy, who represents the picturesque town of Paris, Ontario on the Brant County council, says he didn’t post the comment—a hacker did it.
A local resident reported Cardy to the integrity commissioner Melinda Munro last year after Cardy’s Facebook account posted a comment that included a racial slur, according to The London Free Press. The August 29, 2017 post prompted a debate on Facebook between Cardy’s account and other users, according to the integrity commissioner’s report, which includes screenshots from Facebook. But Cardy has claimed that his account was hacked while he was asleep, and that he never wrote the posts.
“I believe that the offending Facebook posts were created late in the evening of Tuesday
August 29, 2017, by someone, likely a hacker while I was asleep,” Cardy said in a signed affidavit. “I am not sure when my account was hacked, but the post was created by an unidentified person or hacker. I have no information with respect to the origin of this post, how it occurred or who caused the offending messages to be posted to my Facebook account.”
Cardy did not respond to an email request for comment.
Shortly after Munro began her investigation, Cardy decided to then delete his Facebook account and have a member of the town IT staff wipe his hard drive. He said this was because his computer had started to “behave strangely and became unusable.” Munro said that this effectively prevented her from getting to the bottom of the case, but her lengthy report details all of the holes in his hacking story in hilariously deadpan language.
“Had the posts to Facebook all been in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning, it would be easier to believe that they were the work of a hacker,” Munro wrote. “Posting repeatedly during the day and evening using tools that are easy to detect is either the work of an unsophisticated hacker or a person who wanted to be found out.”
She also noted that Cardy claimed a hacker had made similar inappropriate comments that were identified on his account from 2016.
“It seems unusual that a hacker who was determined to interfere with Councillor Cardy’s Facebook account would post something in 2016 and then stand dormant for almost a year,” Munro pointed out.
In the end, Munro recommended that Cardy be suspended for two days for the racist post, and an additional 30 days for destroying evidence, but his peers on council opted to only impose the shorter suspension.
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