HERMISTON, Ore. — An Oregon politician has confessed to writing a racist letter to himself after he initially claimed it was anonymously sent to him, authorities said.
Jonathan Lopez, who is Latino and was a recent commissioner candidate in Umatilla County, claimed he discovered the hate-filled correspondence in his mailbox on June 23, the East Oregonian reported.
The political hopeful previously shared, on his now-deleted Facebook account, a letter that said Lopez and other “Mexicans” were “not welcome here,” according KEPR-TV.
“Don’t waste your time trying to become anything in this county we will make sure you never win and your family suffers along with all the other f***ing Mexicans in the area!” the letter said.
Lopez wrote in the post that he “holds no resentment for whomever wrote this,” according to the news organization.
“I’m just simply heartbroken for the lack of knowledge, education and respect missing,” he said. “I pray for you and wish you prosperity in your life.”
Apparently, he was extending grace to himself as the incident was a hoax.
When investigators conducted followed-up with Lopez regarding the missive, he confessed to authorship.
“Our investigation has shown that Mr. Lopez wrote the letter himself and made false statements to the police and on social media,” Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston told the East Oregonian.
“The end result is a verbal and written admission by Mr. Lopez that the letter was fabricated.”
As a result, the chief said the case will be sent to the Umatilla County District Attorney’s office for review to determine if formal charges are filed.
“This investigation is particularly frustrating as we are in the midst of multiple major investigations while battling a resource shortage due to the current pandemic,” Edmiston said.
“The time spent on this fictitious claim means time lost on other matters, not to mention it needlessly adds to the incredible tension that exists in our nation today.”
Lopez lost a primary election for the commissioner seat in May, FOX reported. The failed candidate claimed that he never intended to file a police report about the bogus letter.
“I never meant to file a report, it just kind of spiraled out,” Lopez told East Oregonian.