AP NEWS

Old Forge Mayor Says His Facebook Was Hacked

March 9, 2019

Old Forge Mayor Robert Legg, under fire for a Facebook post that called for the shooting of prominent Democratic officials, said Friday that he was hacked and disputed writing the post.

Legg, however, volunteered that he may have said U.S. Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer “should be shot” and called U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a derogatory name but only in “off-the-cuff” statements to others — never in writing or posted to Facebook.

“It’s a statement off-the-cuff I don’t remember saying, but if they say I said those things, OK, fine and dandy,” Legg, 66, a Democrat, said.

Facebook removed a Jan. 23 post on Legg’s private page Jan. 29 that said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Pelosi, Schumer “and the rest of you treasonous bastards should be shot.” The post appeared to be reaction to a recently passed New York law expanding abortion rights.

“You spineless jellyfish,” the post closed with. “I’d like to have 5 minutes alone in a locked room with each of you.”

Legg said his Facebook page was hacked and disputed writing the post. He said the controversy surrounding him and the post has “taken on a life of its own” and that people “are making me out like some kind of terrorist.”

“I’m not a terrorist,” Legg said. “I’m an average Joe.”

He said he does not advocate violence but volunteered that he may have made off-hand comments that Schumer should be shot.

He also said people have told him they have received suspicious Facebook friend requests from him, leading him to think he was hacked.

Legg said he does not endorse the post’s message, but did not take it down himself because he’s not very good with computers.

On Thursday, Legg told WNEP-TV that he wrote part of the post, including the part asking for five minutes in a room with the three politicians. He explained he only wanted to have a discussion with them.

On Friday, Legg said he either did not remember writing sections and outright denied writing other passages.

Legg, a retired Old Forge teacher, said he will not resign over this and is not running for re-election.

The controversy drew swift rebuke from other local officials. Old Forge Council President Bob Semenza said that neither he nor the rest of council condones the comment.

Lackawanna County Democratic Party Chairman Chris Patrick condemned the post’s message and said that Legg has lost his “good standing” in the party.

That did not bother Legg, who said he is “a Democrat in name only.”

Contact the writer:

jkohut@timesshamrock.com;

570-348-9144, @jkohutTT