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Coventry senator called out after fake page investigated

February 6, 2014

The fake page created by Nick Kettle mocked Scott Guthrie in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Courtesy Facebook.com

COVENTRY—A fake Facebook page created against Representative Scott Guthrie (District 28, Coventry) triggered an investigation by Coventry police, who traced it back to another local politician, Senator Nick Kettle (District 21, Coventry, Foster, Scituate, West Greenwich).

Guthrie said he had noticed the Facebook page when a few of his friends went on it, and soon realized it wasn’t something he had made.
“So I was like who did this and stole my title and that concerned me,” he added.

According to a report provided by Coventry police, Guthrie went to the station on Dec. 20 to report the page titled “Scott Guthrie State Representative.” On the page, several posts and pictures mocked Guthrie and his position on the Central Coventry Fire District’s receivership.

He told police that the comments on the page “were not posted by him nor did they express his views and or opinions.”

He went on to tell police that the main reason the page was created was to “slander him personally and professionally.”

Lead Detective Kevin Harris reviewed the Facebook page and secured an Administrative Subpoena through the Rhode Island State Police requesting the IP Address for the account.

Through the IP Address, Harris was able to track the account to various addresses, including an address that Kettle lives at with his parents—Autumn Ridge Road.

He was also able to track the IP to the state house, where Kettle allegedly asked GOP Spokesperson Chuck Newton to assist him in creating the page.

Since the investigation, Newton has been relieved of his duties at the state house.

On Jan. 24, Harris contacted Kettle and requested that he respond to the police station regarding the case. Kettle however had his lawyer, former GOP Republican Robert Watson, speak to the police instead.

Watson was ousted following a DUI and marijuana charge in 2011.

Watson advised Kettle not to speak with police because he was
concerned “that if Senator Kettle responded to a police department that it could result in negative media publicity.”

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