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L.A. council candidate tells police his private email was hacked

Council candidate reports to LAPD that someone hacked his personal email and sent messages he did not write

Los Angeles City Council candidate Tomas O’Grady said Monday that he has asked police to investigate the apparent hacking of his personal email account and a telephone call from someone threatening to expose private messages between him and his wife.

O’Grady, a Los Feliz nonprofit director in close contention for the runoff as votes continue to be counted in the primary to replace Councilman Tom LaBonge, said that his wife got a call last week from an unidentified woman saying that “if we don’t 'back off' -- whatever that means -- that she would release details about personal emails.”

The woman had “great detail” about the emails, O’Grady said, describing them as things only he and his wife would know.

The candidate added that earlier he had gotten an email from a supporter who was upset about how he had responded to her request to be removed from his campaign email list.

O’Grady said that -- in the throes of the race -- he apologized without checking what the initial email said and later realized it had been sent from his personal account without his knowledge.

The Feb. 22 email stated, in part, "If you are not happy with the campaign and would like to unsubscribe, just do so.... I don't need this nonsense from people!" O’Grady said he didn’t write it.

The Los Feliz Ledger, which first reported on his concerns, said one of its reporters had sent an email to O’Grady at his personal account, asking for his comments on allegations that resources for his nonprofit and his campaign had been improperly mingled.

In response, the Ledger reporter got a Feb. 26 reply from the account saying, “It’s all true. Time to move on to a more healthy relationship with someone who has ethics,” the paper reported. O’Grady said he hadn’t written that email either.

O’Grady said he had contacted the Los Angeles Police Department and was working with its computer crimes unit, which would seek to trace the emails. An LAPD spokesman was unable to immediately provide comment Monday.

O'Grady was among more than a dozen candidates competing in the March 3 primary election to replace LaBonge, who is termed out.

It remains unclear whether O'Grady will compete in the May runoff for the seat: The last available results show him 61 votes behind candidate David Ryu, who is currently in second place after LaBonge aide Carolyn Ramsay. Ballots are still being counted citywide.

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