Today we have received word from the Shirley Police Department's investigating officer, Sgt. Alfreda Cromwell, that the charge of identity theft has been filed on Mr. Ralph Zazula, congressional candidate Tom Weaver's media director. This is a violation of Massachusetts General Laws. Mr. Zazula has been subpoenaed to appear in Ayer District Court on Sept. 6. The judge will determine at that time if sufficient evidence exists to file charges on candidate Weaver as well.

Zazula, with Weaver's full knowledge, was stealing the identity of Shirley Republicans, conservatives or like-minded people by creating a fictitious Facebook page to promote Weaver (not only in Shirley, but in 27 of the 37 communities in the 3rd Congressional District).

Several Republican town chairs have contacted me expressing outrage over this deceptive practice and have also contacted Mr. Weaver and asked to have the Facebook pages taken down. The Shirley RTC's original intent was to have the offending page(s) taken down. Candidate Weaver and his paid media advisor, Mr. Zazula, were contacted by myself on the phone, in person and via email and refused to take any action to remove our or any other fictitious pages. Zazula was also contacted by Nate Little, the executive director of the Mass GOP, and demanded to take them down. Weaver and Zazula then each received letters from our attorney, Mr. Peter Sheldon. That was followed by the Shirley Police Department instructing Zazula to remove the offending sites. Zazula and Weaver became more emboldened, adding materials to the pages and using a Twitter account in the name of Shirley MAGOP to spread materials.

It's unfortunate that this has come to criminal action. All of this could have been avoided by Mr. Weaver instructing his paid media director to remove these pages, or by Mr. Zazula removing these pages when advised by our attorney and then the police of the criminal acts they were committing.

I'm of the opinion that this is among the lowest things I've seen in a political campaign. To take the identity of a group or individual to then use their good name and reputation to attempt to deliberately mislead voters into thinking they support someone or some cause, when that is absolutely not the case, is obviously criminal, which is why we have pursued the course of action we have. We look forward to having these page(s) removed, and moving forward.

KEVIN HAYES

Shirley Republican Town Committee