A Staten Island attorney will be investigated after running several mock Facebook pages for candidates for state and city offices.
NY1 revealed that attorney Richard Luthmann was behind an account created to resemble the campaign page for Janine Materna, formerly a Republican candidate for state Assembly. A judge within the state Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to allow for the appointment of a prosecutor to probe whether he went too far and broke the law.
The social media page may have negatively impacted Materna’s campaign, misconstruing her political stance and possibly costing her votes.
It was also discovered by NY1 that her opponent and winner of the race for state Assembly, Republican Ron Castorina, was aware of the page and discussed it with Luthmann.
In a recent Facebook post, Luthmann admitted to being behind the account and sought to defend his actions, alleging that Materna’s campaign had tried to harass Castorina’s family.
“I created it myself after I saw how upset Ron's mother became when harassing mail arrived at her house sent by a #BitterJanineMaterna campaign operative,” Luthmann said.
Luthmann continues, eventually implying Castorina’s treatment of Materna was better than it could have been and that Luthmann himself would have committed actions against Materna landing him in prison if it were his mother. Listing his points, he says, “Fifth, Ron Castorina is guilty of only one thing: being an Italian Mama's Boy who gets very upset when someone comes after his mother for political gain. And there are many other men on Staten Island who would do far worse to someone who insulted their mother than call the likes of #BitterJanineMaterna a ‘filthy animal’ just days after his mother stood hysterical, upset, and afraid in the kitchen of her own home. Ron showed restraint. If it were my mom, I'd be doing a bid in Sing Sing right now.”
Luthmann’s actions will be investigated by a private attorney rather than a D.A. because of case being political in nature.
NY1 also reported that Luthmann allegedly oversaw mock accounts for City Council Member Debi Rose and former Staten Island D.A. candidate Michael McMahon.