Big Spring mayor accused of impersonating city employee

Recordings of the CBS7 News at 6 newscast.
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 7:36 PM CDT
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It’s no secret, the Big Spring City Council doesn’t get along.

Now, one council member tells CBS7, she believes Mayor Shannon Thomason impersonated a city employee recently to undermine other council members.

Council Member Camila Strande told CBS7 a public service announcement was sent to local media from the city secretary’s office.

It was meant to let the media know that an affidavit had been filed requesting petitions to recall her and fellow councilman Jim Depaw.

The problem is, she claims that note wasn’t written by the city secretary.

She said she saw an email where the secretary, Donald Moore, claims he didn’t write it or ask anyone else to.

“Don says he knew nothing of it,” she said. “I’ve seen the emails that he sent out that were released in the open records request to KBEST. He said that he didn’t know anything about it, wasn’t aware of it before it was sent out, didn’t see it until it was sent out and didn’t have anything to do with writing it.”

Strande said the city employee who actually wrote the PSA, told her Mayor Thomason dictated it to her and told her to send it under Moore’s name.

She said impersonating a city official is a crime and on top of that, city officials aren’t allowed to send out PSA’s about recalls anyway.

“Because that can be considered electioneering which would be a Class A misdemeanor as well,” Strande said. “And it opens up the city to a lawsuit. It opens up a lot of liability there as far as committing crimes and potentially using city funds for electioneering.”

Strande said charges couldn’t be brought against Thomason very quickly if it came to that, but she said this situation may play into his recall election coming up in a few months.

“It’s not acceptable for him to do whatever he wants and do anything that he just run around and put other people’s names on documents,” she said.

We spoke to Moore this afternoon, but he said he’s been instructed not to comment about these allegations publicly.

We also tried talking to Mayor Thomason. He texted our reporter back saying the only way he would respond is by being live in a newscast and knowing the questions beforehand.

It’s normally CBS7′s policy not to share questions before an interview.

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