HomePoliticsCommissioner candidate in Texas arrested on impersonation charges

Commissioner candidate in Texas arrested on impersonation charges

Taral Patel, a candidate for Fort Bend Precinct 3 Commissioner in Texas, has been arrested on online impersonation charges.

According to ABC 13, Patel allegedly created fake social media accounts to post racist comments directed at himself. Last September, Patel spoke out about racist comments he was receiving during his campaign.

Patel, who is a Democrat, is running against incumbent Republican Andy Meyers for the commissioner position in November. According to Houston Public Media, Meyers began the investigation by tracking down the username of a poster that had allegedly made three racist comments. Patel had concealed the name in a press release but the Meyers campaign traced the comments to a user called “Antonio Scalywag.”

Meyers hired a private investigator who did not find anyone in Fort Bend County who used that name. He then requested that the district attorney’s office investigate Patel’s claims.

After the DA’s office issued a subpoena to Google and Facebook, they found account data that matched several personal information about Patel, including phone number, address and driver’s license number, ABC 13 reports.

The Texas Rangers arrested Patel on Wednesday. According to FOX 26, he is facing charges of third-degree felony Online Impersonation and a Class A Misdemeanor for Misrepresentation of Identity under the Texas Election Code. He is currently being held on a $20,000 bail.

From 2018 to 2021, Patel served as chief of staff for Fort Bend County Judge KP George. George issued a statement following Patel’s arrest, FOX 26 reports:

“As a public official, I address the recent events involving a former employee with a deep sense of concern. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, I emphasize the vital importance of upholding the principles of due process and impartial investigation. I trust that this matter will be examined without prejudice. While awaiting additional information, I reaffirm my commitment to ensuring justice and accountability. I look forward to gaining a complete understanding of the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate incident.”

Patel’s campaign has not appeared to issue any statement on his arrest.

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