Written by Brian Massie, Executive Director / May 13, 2022
There was a strange turn of events at the Commissioners’ meeting last Thursday. After the meeting, the ever affable attorney for the Commissioners, Mr. Dave Hackman, asked if I received the records requests that I have submitted. I said that I did get the one that I submitted. He then mentioned that they are working on the video and audio of the meeting that I requested.
With a puzzled look, I said: “I did not ask for any video or audio”. Equally puzzled, he said that he would send it to me anyway. I said: “Thank you”.
After some inquiry, I discovered that someone sent a public records request from a protonmail.com account. The account was “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Note that they only used the singular “lobbyist”. A person requesting the public record does not have to give their name. However, LFC has an established format for asking for public records.
After thinking about it for 24 hours, I decided that this person, or these people, engaged in this deception may take additional steps to smear my reputation, credibility or even worse. Things have really taken a nasty turn ever since I started to question the Lake County judges and the court system.
Never being one to just sit back and let things play out, I took the necessary steps to protect myself and my wife. The following email was sent to all Lake County elected officials, the two F.B.I. agents that came knocking on my front door, and my lawyer that represented me when I was questioned by the F.B.I.
I have been made aware that someone has asked a Lake County public official for a record request using the following email address: “email@example.com”
The public official thought that the request came from me, Brian Massie. I want everyone to be aware that email address is not associated with me, or my 501 (c) (4) non-profit organization titled: Lobbyists for Citizens.
I also wanted everyone to be aware in case something inappropriate or nefarious occurs as a result of this individual impersonating me. Since someone in Lake County has already anonymously given my name to the FBI, and I was interviewed by them on another matter, I wanted them to see this email so they can be aware of what is going on in Lake County. My attorney is also being informed of this matter. It is clear to me that I need to protect myself from someone that may want to cause me harm.
The nature of the public record request made indicates to me that there is information leaking out of the Lake County Administration building and/or the Court system and sending it to the news media. This action will cause LFC to ramp up records requests to “pull back the curtain” on our courts and their support staff. It is regretful that this action has to be taken, but the Lake County citizens are entitled to full transparency.
I have jokingly said quite a few times as we pull back the curtain on the shenanigans of Lake County officials: “If they find me face down in a ditch, it wasn’t suicide!”
Ladies and gentlemen, I am not joking this time….”If they find me face down in a ditch, it wasn’t suicide!”
Transparency is the key to good governance, and an informed electorate. We will continue to stand on the front line for you, and shine light into the darkness.