Peoria Mayor Defends Police Response to Twitter Account

Mayor Jim Ardis said he felt he was "a victim of sexual doggerel and filth"

Peoria's mayor is defending his actions in response to a fake Twitter account set up in his name, saying he felt his identity was stolen and that the comments posted were "absolute filth."

Mayor Jim Ardis addressed the issue Tuesday night at a City Council meeting where he faced criticism from council members and residents who felt he had abused his powers.

Ardis filed a criminal complaint over the Twitter account, which authorities say included posts about drugs and sex.

The Twitter account was set up in late February or early March under the handle @Peoriamayor. It included a photo of Mayor Jim Ardis, his city email address and a bio saying he enjoyed serving the city.

By March 10, the bio information was updated to indicate it was a parody account. It had about 50 tweets and as many followers.

As part of the investigation, police officers raided a home last week and seized computers and phones.

Three people at the home were brought to a police station to be interviewed, as were two other people who were met by police at their workplaces.

Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard said at the time the officers were investigating it as a possible case of impersonating a public official, an offense punishable with a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail.

No one was charged over the Twitter account, which had already been shut down.

Ardis said Tuesday he felt he was "a victim of sexual doggerel and filth."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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