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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Witness ties Twittergate to Delmar Johnson



Remember the sordid tale of the fake Twitter account set up to attack Brevard County Republican Chairman Jason Steele, a vocal critic of the Florida GOP leadership? The party fired it's field director, Tim Nungesser, after the fake site was tracked back to his home computer. Steele says Nungesser told him GOP executive director Delmar Johnson had been aware of the fake account, which the party denies. Nungesser has not returned calls.


Now another witness, Melbourne attorney Richard Torpy, says he also heard Nungesser say Johnson had been aware of the fake account. Torpy said he is a friend of Nungesser's family and of Steele and he offered to informally mediate between Steele Nungesser after the Sheriff's office tracked the fake account to Nungesser.

"There were several admissions (from Nungesser) that the executive director had been aware of the site for a couple months,'' said Torpy. He said he never asked Nungesser whether he had been instructed by anyone else in the party to create the account in Steele's name or what Johson said about the account.

From the state GOP: "When the RPOF became aware of the fake twitter account, our general counsel obtained a statement from Mr. Nungesser detailing his actions surrounding the account. In that statement, Mr. Nungesser confirmed that his activities relating to fake Twitter account were done without the knowledge or approval of the RPOF or any RPOF employees."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:05pm]


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