Mayor Poses as Journalist to Report Happy News
Freelance journalism jobs are known for their long hours and low pay, so the idea that someone would fake a reporting gig probably didn't cross the minds of those vetting potential contributors at West Valley City newspapers. Perhaps that's why the city's mayor was able to pose as a reporter eager to write about the area's upbeat news.
In 2011, Mayor Mike Winder took the promotion of West Valley City, Utah, to a whole new level when he created the alias Richard Burwash, set up a false Facebook page and e-mail address under the name, and began communicating with editors. He even contributed a series of buoyant articles under his assumed byline and sometimes quoted himself (his actual, mayoral self, that is) in the articles. Winder eventually decided to come clean when he embarked on a bid for a higher office [source: Foy].