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2 Investigators: Berrios Opponent Plagued By Fake Websites

Author: Brad Edwards

UPDATE 10/18/17, 10:29 a.m:

(CBS) — Fritz Kaegi has a mysterious problem: He’s running for Cook County assessor against a powerful politician, but someone has hijacked his online identity.

“I am Fritz Kaegi, and I am running for Cook County assessor in the Democratic primary,” Kaegi tells 2 Investigator Brad Edwards.

He’s just filed a legal action against GoDaddy, Facebook, Twitter, Crowdpac and others because someone created fake online web accounts in his name to raise campaign cash and connect with supporters.

“So, you are Fritz Kaegi?” Edwards asks the candidate.

“I am Fritz Kaegi,” he replies.

“But you are not fritzkaegi.org?” Edwards asks.

“I’m not.”

The sham websites appeared shortly after Fritz announced he would challenge incumbent Assessor Joe Berrios, chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party.

A recent fake tweet mentions “orgies,” and a press release dated Aug. 29 says Kaegi was out talking about his campaign “with a deadly hurricane raging in Texas.”

“It’s creepy,” says Kaegi’s wife, Rebecca. “My children’s names and faces are on the fictional website.”

Mrs. Kaegi is a degreed linguist. She says she smelled duplicity at first view of the website’s grammar.

So, who’s behind it?

That’s what the legal action seeks to discover. Kaegi’s camp believes a Berrios operative is to blame.

“And this is the kind of politics that are the problem in our county,” Fritz Kaegi says.

A Berrios campaign manager says the incumbent office holder had nothing to do with the fake web sites.

Any suggestion that he or his associates were involved is “absurd,” the representative says, noting the assessor “has been focused on improving the system he inherited” and not politics.

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