Stanislaus County Superior Court has launched an internal investigation after a political tweet was posted to the court’s official Twitter account on Thursday.
The post was soon removed and a new tweet appeared stating the account had been hacked, but on Friday the court released a statement that the account had not been hacked and was posted by an employee.
The tweet was on the court’s Twitter account on Thursday. It was retweeting a post from Alex Salvi, a host on the far-right cable channel One America News. Salvi’s tweet read, “NEW: At least one person is critically injured in Portsmouth, Virginia, when a confederate statue falls on a protester during its removal."
The retweet from the court’s account included the statement, “Some like their karma instantly, I'll take mine in November. #Trump2020.”
The tweet was soon deleted and a new tweet was posted that read, "Sorry for any tweets that may have gone out today. This account’s password was compromised.”
The retweet from Salvi was not the only political post under the court’s account on Thursday. A Fox News host Jeanine Pirro post on recent protests was also "liked."
The court’s apology and explanation that it had been hacked was met with derision and disbelief. Multiple tweets accused the court of lying about what happened and one questioned why a hacker would bother with an account that had so few followers.
On Friday, the court’s Twitter account had a new tweet seeking to make amends and distance itself from the political retweets. The tweet read, “Yesterday’s tweet about race and partisan politics was unauthorized and completely contrary to the Court’s mission to provide equal access to justice and serve the needs of our community with integrity, quality, and fairness. The Court sincerely apologizes for the post.”
Court Executive Officer Hugh Swift released a statement saying they initially thought the account had been hacked, but “later learned an employee posted the tweet.”
Swift said the incident will be treated as a personnel matter and they will be conducting a full investigation.
“At the conclusion of the investigation, the Court will take appropriate action consistent with its personnel rules and applicable laws,” Swift wrote in the statement. “To prevent any further unauthorized posts, the Court imposed additional restrictions on access to its social media accounts.”