Two DAs say they're investigating Rep. Jesse White for using online aliases
District attorneys in two counties are investigating state Rep. Jesse White's use of Internet aliases to slam opponents.
Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said Thursday he is helping with Washington County's investigation.
Marsico said his involvement, in part, is to determine whether White, a Cecil Democrat, committed any crimes and, if so, whether any occurred in Harrisburg.
“We're trying to see what's appropriate here,” said Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone.
White did not return phone calls or emails seeking comment.
Vittone and Marsico talked about the situation this week, Vittone said, but he declined further comment, saying his office doesn't discuss its investigations.
Because the Legislature meets in the state capital, the Dauphin County district attorney frequently becomes involved in investigations of state officials or other high-profile cases.
“We haven't heard anything from either of these (district attorney) offices,” said Bill Patton, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont.
“Frank talked to Jesse on Monday,” Patton said. “They had a private discussion in Frank's office. Neither of them shared details.”
Dermody has said House officials determined White did not post his attacks from a state computer.
White, 33, who has openly clashed with gas-drilling companies, acknowledged last week that he wrote anonymous online posts and created fictional characters on Twitter and Facebook to attack constituents who support Marcellus shale drilling.
The aliases called White's critics “mouth breathers” and labeled industry supporters, including senior citizens, as “hucksters.” One name he used online was “Janice Gibson,” while criticizing constituent Janice Gibbs, who favors drilling. He used the name “Harold,” under which he called Gibbs “dumber than a box of rocks.”
White issued a statement apologizing for any “offensive or hurtful” actions.
Gibbs, 64, of Cecil and another of White's targets, Donald Roessler, 50, of Chartiers told the Tribune-Review this week that they received handwritten notes from White, offering to meet with them privately about “how to move forward from the unfortunate events that have occurred between us.”
Gibbs and Roessler said they're unlikely to take White up on the offer. They haven't decided whether to pursue criminal charges, such as harassment, with the district attorney.
Roessler said White should resign.
“There's no reason for a public official to be acting like that,” Roessler said after receiving White's letter. “I just don't see why he doesn't do the right thing and just step down and end this whole thing.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Clues to Chief Justice John Roberts’ thinking on new ObamaCare case
- Pirates enter Plan B with Martin off market
- Reflecting frustration, Webb eyes presidency
- Mears savors success, credits legendary Lange for guidance, inspiration
- 5 arrested on firearm, drug charges in Spring Hill
- Allegheny County adoption event joins 40 children with families
- For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth
- Starkey: No explaining Steelers, AFC North
- Derry water outage may be resolved by 5 p.m. Sunday, authority says
- Shooting victims live with bullets to survive, thrive
- Allegheny County buck could prove to be state’s largest ever taken