CRYSTAL LAKE – A Crystal Lake man running for a seat on the Community High School District 155 Board said his Twitter account was hacked after screenshots of profanity-laden tweets surfaced last week.
Scott Vetter said that although the tweets did come from his account, the ones ridden with profanity, anti-religious and racist remarks posted from June 2016 to December 2016 were not written by him.
Vetter was elected Precinct 36 committeeman in Algonquin Township in 2015, he said, and the tweets came from his Algonquin Precinct’s account: @algonquin36pc.
“A lot of the tweets were racist and very religiously discriminatory, so I closed the account,” Vetter said.
Some screenshots were posted on the District 155 Education Association’s Facebook page. The association is running a slate of union-backed candidates competing with Vetter and the “cut taxes” slate.
Vetter said some of those tweets that were on the screenshots were from him, but not ones that used profanity or discriminatory remarks.
Vetter said that he did send a tweet on July 6, 2016, that included his Crystal Lake address. He said a tweet from the same account on the following day that uses vulgar language wasn’t written by him.
It wasn’t until people told him in September that some of the tweets were offensive and used anti-religious and racist remarks that he realized his account was hacked, Vetter said.
“I closed the account in September 2016,” Vetter said.
After seeing screenshots of the old tweets resurface on social media, Vetter said he thought the account had been deleted and contacted Twitter last week to see why it was active.
“They said after the account is shut down it has, like, a 30-day grace period in case you want to bring it back up, and they said it reopened three days later after I had shut it down.”
The Twitter account containing the racist remarks and profanity has since been deleted.
At one point, Vetter said he controlled both his Twitter and Facebook accounts. For example, a Facebook post from June 4, 2016, that Vetter said he wrote uses the same language as a tweet sent the previous day. Vetter posted the remarks to the “Democratic Socialists of America – Knoxville” Facebook page where he referred to protesters at Trump rallies as “terrorists.” He apologized for the harsh rhetoric.
Vetter is one of nine candidates running for four open seats on the board that governs District 155, which consists of Crystal Lake Central, Crystal Lake South, Cary-Grove and Prairie Ridge high schools. Those running are Ron Ludwig, Jason Blake, David Secrest, Nicole Pavoris, Ann Somers, John Pletz, Donna Kurtz, Raphael Kamner and Vetter. Somers and Secrest are incumbents.
Vetter said that even if the hacked account hurts his chances at being elected for the school board, he hopes it won’t have a negative effect on the other three candidates he’s running with – Pletz, Kamner and Kurtz – before the election. The four are running on a platform of cutting property taxes.