A racist comment apparently posted from the Facebook account of the wife of a Lee County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant has prompted a sheriff’s office investigation.
The comment from an account attributed to Linda Deverso-Pakulis appeared underneath a video showing a fight Sunday at the Edison Mall.
The text of the comment is italicized below:
“Yep filthy [expletive]! If they aren’t killing eachother in Lehigh then they are shopping and spending government money at the Edison! And they wonder why everyone picks on them? Watch the video! Send them back to Africa! World peace with then begin!”
“The Lee County Sheriff’s Office finds these comments to be disgraceful, hurtful and completely unacceptable,” Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno said.
Deverso-Pakulis took to Facebook to dispute the initial comment under a different account, claiming she’d been hacked and does not “share these beliefs.”
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is “looking into it,” according to sheriff’s office Sgt. Anita Iriarte.
Marceno said there’s no reason to believe any member of the sheriff’s office or their spouse had “any involvement in placing this disgraceful language online.” Still, the sheriff’s office is obliged to investigate, he said.
“Because of the nature of this incident, we are using an abundance of caution, and we are conducting an internal review of this incident,” Marceno said.
Marceno declined to answer whether the lieutenant is being investigated as part of the probe.
Cybersecurity expert John Benkert said if Deverso-Pakulis was hacked, she would be able to find out by checking her security settings on Facebook.
“If they can still login, then you should be able to tell by the logins and where they came from,” Benkert said. “It’s pretty easy to tell if it came from a different IP addres than what they’re used to seeing.”
Benkert says that this kind of post doesn’t match up with typical hacking behavior.
“It doesn’t sound like a hacker from Russia or China, or California hacking into somebody’s computer just to make a Facebook post, that’s pretty uncommon,” Benkert said.
The Facebook video has since been taken down.
Watch Marceno’s statement below: