LAKEWAY, Texas (KXAN) — The mayor of Lakeway has been fined a civil penalty of $500 for encouraging people online — while using a fictitious name — to vote for specific candidates.
According to a Texas Ethics Commission report online, commissioners met on Sept. 27 to go over the complaint that Joe Bain misrepresented himself on political advertising or campaign communications.
In April 2017, Bain posted multiple comments on the Nextdoor app using the pseudonym “John Smart” relating to the May 6, 2017 special election for two city council seats and two measures.
The four posts Bain made questioned the experience of a council candidate and was critical of the candidate for allegedly not having much experience and involvement in Lakeway city government.
One of the posts also encouraged Nextdoor users to vote for specific candidates, arguing “the other candidate” didn’t do any work to improve the city.
Bain admitted to using the fake profile on April 28, a violation of election code.
In a statement to KXAN Wednesday, Bain said, “I made an error in judgement in May when I posted using a pseudonym. I admitted the error and apologized to the citizens back then. I paid a $500 civil penalty to close the ethics case and am moving on, continuing to do the best I can for the citizens of Lakeway.”