The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

June 19, 2013

County Commission chairman has online impostor

By Kim West

— Imitation might be the most sincere form of flattery but a social media impersonator is causing a headache for one longtime local politician.

Stanley Menefee, 68, chairman of the Limestone County Commission and a Republican, was alerted last week that someone had created a Facebook page masquerading as ... Stanley Menefee.

The page was created May 13 using an official county photo of Menefee, and the imposter began posting June 6. The social media profile paints Menefee as an ardent supporter of prominent national leaders in the Democratic Party, including Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Barack Obama.

The fake Menefee, who incorrectly lists 1939 as the birth year for the chairman and claims to be a member of the “Free Don Siegelman!” group, had accumulated 479 Facebook friends as of Tuesday.

The charlatan also posted links to stories ranging from the infamous Cheerios commercial and teen pregnancy to gun control and a time management system.

“Most people have found out it’s not me, and my birthday is not correct,” said the real Stanley Menefee on Tuesday.

The chairman said he does not currently have a Facebook account. He said he did have one during his campaign four years ago but it was de-activated when the campaign ended.

A city of Athens employee, who is both a Facebook friend to the phony Menefee and a real-life friend of the commission chairman, contacted him June 11 to inquire about a series of Democratic-tinged activity on his profile.

“I’m definitely not a fan of (Pelosi, Reid and Obama),” said Menefee who was a longtime Democrat prior to switching parties for the 2010 election.

“I have no intention to switch parties,” he said Tuesday. “I would be honorable to my party, and I would never switch without telling them first.” He added he plans to run for re-election in 2014.

It is unknown who the Facebook phony is but Menefee said the episode has turned into a running joke among his colleagues, family and friends.

“I’m not as upset as I once was about this but I don’t need anything out there where I’m not in charge of putting out the ‘yay’ or ‘nay.’ I like to answer my own questions,” he said.

Menefee contacted Facebook on Friday. He said the social media company replied that de-activating the counterfeit page could take until the end of this week.