Written by Lev Finzi
The Mayor of Encinitas has been recently under fire due to her campaign page on Facebook after she had not complied with a previous settlement agreement. Her page began blocking all the people related to the agreement, and soon after that, the lawsuits followed.
Catherine Blakespear is the current Mayor of Encinitas. At the moment she is running for 38th State Senate District seat. Recently, users had left non-threatening and not harassing comments on that page. The users reported that the comments had been deleted and blocked. The comments only included questions, concerns, and slight criticism of Blakespear.
After the accusations came in, users filed a Tort Claim with the city of Encinitas, which is what one would do to begin to file a lawsuit against a public figure or government employee.
The leader of the group, Robert Nichols is the former chairman of the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project. They sent a cease-and-desist to Blakespear, in which both entities found a middle ground in a settlement agreement. Nichols reported that an approximated 30 users had been blocked from Blakespear’s page, and a select few of the users were individuals such as a local firefighter and the former Encinitas Union School Board candidate Matt Wheeler.
She agreed to the terms of the settlement, in which she would be required to pay a 5,000 dollar fine to the attorneys and users, issue a public apology, and unblock all the users that she had blocked previously. Blakespear had gone to Facebook to write out her 10-paragraph-long apology.
In her Facebook post, she apologizes to “anyone who didn’t have full access to [her] campaign Facebook page or other social media accounts,”. She mentions that her page was not a government-run social media account and that it was only used for campaigning.
The post gained a large amount of attention with 600 comments from people who had been blocked and people claiming that the apology was not genuine. Jebidiah Stuber, resident in Encinitas commented “I was blocked for simply asking for you to outline your ‘real solution to homelessness’ because I know that you do not have one,”.
Photo Cred: Fox 5 San Diego