The Wake County government is denying responsibility for a series of politically charged posts that appeared on its Twitter account Thursday.
Wake’s Twitter account – @WakeGov – was replying to posts by Brent Woodcox, an attorney who helped draw up the state legislative district maps for the General Assembly. The county’s communications office says it is investigating.
“We believe our Twitter account was hacked,” said Dara Demi, Wake’s communications director. “We’re working with the county’s Chief Information Security Officer now to try to determine how it happened.”
The first Wake tweet seemed to respond to an article Woodcox posted about proposed legislation that would have cut tuition prices for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
In the story, Republican Sen. Tom Apodaca explained his reasoning for amending the legislation in response to an outcry from HBCU alumni, many of whom said they feared it could be the first step toward defunding their schools.
The Wake account responded by tweeting: “if the good ol’ Senator was really interested in HBCUs, he would have asked HBCU students and alums- first!”
The Wake account then addressed Woodcox again, saying: “and have you ever noticed how the majority feels threatened when minorities expose those against equality? Hmmmm.”
Some Twitter users said Wake’s tweets show either a lack of good judgment by county employees or a lack of good cyber-security. Commissioner John Burns of Raleigh, who often debates with Woodcox on Twitter, denied doing so with the county’s account.
“Don’t have access to that account, nor would any sensible person give it to me,” Burns tweeted.
Apex officials met with a familiar face Wednesday when representatives of Hudson Realty Capital, backers of the town’s long-awaited Veridea development, lobbied the planning committee for $27.5 million in sewer subsidies.
Bruce Radford, who retired in December after 14 years as Apex town manager, was doing the lobbying. Radford said the New York-based firm contacted him shortly after his retirement to ask if he would act as an adviser on the project.
“We use Bruce as a resource with the government and the community,” said Joe Morningstar, Hudson’s director of asset management. “He knows what the town’s likely to do and not likely to do, so we can ask for what’s reasonable.”
Radford was town manager when the 1,000-acre, mixed-use development was first approved in 2009.
“That certainly was a good strategic hire on their part,” said current Town Manager Drew Havens, who worked under Radford for about a year and a half as assistant town manager.
“He’s a consultant, but he used to be the town manager, and he’s owed respect for that,” Havens said. “The project doesn’t get any special favors or consideration because of it.”
▪ State Senate candidates from Wake County will appear at The Wake Democratic Men’s Club meeting on Monday, June 13, at the Holiday Inn Downtown, 320 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh. Doors open at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m.
Compiled by Paul A. Specht and Henry Gargan
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