The mayor of West New York, New Jersey, a town just across the Hudson River from midtown Manhattan, and his son were arrested and charged with hacking into an e-mail account and website set up to recall him from office.
Felix Roque, 55, and his son Joseph, 22, were to appear today in Newark federal court on charges of gaining unauthorized access to computers and causing damage to them, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said today in a statement.
“The elected leader of West New York and his son allegedly hacked into computers to intimidate constituents who were simply using the Internet to exercise their constitutional rights to criticize the government,” Fishman said in the statement.
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The website, www.recallroque.com, was set up by an unidentified Hudson County resident in February for the posting of commentary on the mayor and his administration, authorities said.
Joseph Roque hacked into online accounts connected to the website and disabled it, they said. The mayor then “harassed and attempted to intimidate” those associated with the site, the prosecutor said.