Former mayoral candidate forgiving, but hopes for end to personal attacks
Published Monday, June 24, 2019 5:12PM EDT
Paul Paolatto, the victim of a fake website prank, is speaking out about the impact it had on him, and the effects on his inner circle.
Paolatto accepted an apology from Shawn Adamsson over the weekend for the creation of the site PaolattoReport.com back in December 2017.
Adamsson called the site “satirical” and although Paolatto is trying to take the high road, he says the fake sites have consequences.
“They go deep and they are personal,” says the former mayoral candidate. “They can be damaging to the candidate, and their family and staff and the people that work around them.”
When the fake site was created 18 months ago, CTV London reached out to Adamsson to inquire whether he was the creator of PaolattoReport.Com.
He denied any involvement until taking to the web Saturday.
The admission of guilt comes three weeks after Paolatto Tweeted that he planned to use similar tactics used by Councillor Maureen Cassidy and former councillor Virginia Ridley, as well as lawyer Susan Toth, to root out the culprit behind smear campaigns that targeted them.
Documents released under a court order revealed that the name of the co-owner of Blackridge Strategy, Amir Farahi, appeared on registration and payment paperwork for the sites.
When contacted Monday, Adamsson declined a request for an interview, referring us to his blog post.
There he wrote, "I should have clearly indicated that it was me from the start in the spirit of openness to which I typically aspire."
Former councilor Cheryl Miller calls the creation of a fake website, “dirty...awful” and “unpleasant and unfair.”
As someone who has run campaigns and been a candidate, Miller says she wouldn't be as accepting as Paolatto.
“I am fed up with anonymity trying to do hurtful things to people who are putting their names on ballots,” says Miller. “The people in the shadows are childish…The whole thing is cowardly, to take a run at Paul’s family and staff are low blows.”
Paolatto says he hopes that between this, and the recent Blackridge Strategy scandal, this can be the end of anonymous personal attacks
"I think we can be better than this. If nothing else I'm hopeful in the future we can better outcomes with people understanding there is no way to hide anymore."