The Dunwoody Police investigation into offensive social media comments allegedly made by a former city attorney has been suspended after the police chief said he found yet another profanity-laden message sent from the attorney’s Facebook account.
Lenny Felgin, the attorney, claimed a hacker made the original comments a year ago, which included anti-Muslim statements and calling a teenage girl a “whore.” In a recent interview, he said he was unsure about the other offensive message Chief Billy Grogan uncovered, which was sent as a private message to a group named “Michelle Obama for President 2020.”
“I told the chief I wasn’t sure [I sent it],” Felgin said in an interview last week. “I can’t say I didn’t.”
The controversial Facebook posts were uncovered in January 2017, creating backlash in the community with Felgin claiming someone hacked his Facebook account. Felgin, who was first put on administrative leave by the city’s law firm where he worked, Riley McLendon, then resigned. After he resigned, Felgin asked the police department to investigate if his Facebook page was hacked.
Police say their investigation as to whether there was a hacker and Facebook has not responded to evidence requests. But police say they did find a new offensive statement.
The vulgar message that Chief Grogan found was dated Nov. 24, 2016. It includes the sentence, “Good riddance and don’t let the door hit your [expletive] on the way out,” using a vulgar term for the female genitalia. A screenshot of the message was included in a Dunwoody Police report and includes many profanities, including calling the group a “racist and divisive [expletive].”
According to the police report, when Grogan asked Felgin to explain the “crude comments,” Felgin “admitted that he had sent the message located by Chief Grogan, but he provided no explanation for the content.”
A police report notes the private message “was similar in nature to the online communication that sparked this investigation.”
Grogan searched all of Felgin’s Facebook account, “but it appeared all other comments had been removed or deleted,” according to the report.
As part of the investigation, Grogan also offered Felgin the opportunity to take a Computer Voice Stress Analysis “to assist his claim that his account had been hacked and he was not the individual who posted these offensive comments on his Facebook account,” the police report states.
A CVSA is used by police departments across the country to attempt to detect lies and truthfulness through voice tones.
Felgin was given the exam on Jan. 31, 2017, and the results “displayed a significant amount of stress,” according to the police report. The report also states, “Mr. Felgin continued to deny this offensive statement, but from the findings of this examination it appears that Mr. Felgin is being deceptive.”
Felgin said he was told the voice test was “inconclusive.”
The hacking case was officially filed as inactive in August, after Grogan said the department never received information from Facebook’s Law Enforcement Team following a subpoena for official records to try to determine if hacking took place.
“We have not received any information from Facebook and have no further leads in the case,” Grogan said last week. “At this time, we cannot definitively confirm or deny that his account was hacked.”
An inactive case can be reopened if any new information is received, Grogan said.
“I don’t think they are working real hard to get Facebook to give over information,” Felgin said, adding he hasn’t been in touch with Dunwoody city officials since last year.
Felgin and the city came under fire last January when a Dunwoody resident uncovered several hateful comments allegedly posted by Felgin on a Facebook thread discussing President Donald Trump’s executive order imposing a 90-day travel ban of mostly Muslim majority countries.
Community backlash led Felgin to resign last February from Riley McLendon, the Marietta-based law firm where he’d worked for 10 years. Riley McLendon is contracted to provide legal services for the city of Dunwoody. An internal investigation by the city manager was halted following Felgin’s resignation.
Felgin continues to deny he sent the anti-Muslim comments. He now works as an attorney for Fincher Denmark, another law firm that represents local governments.
“Mr. Felgin was not an employee of Fincher Denmark when those allegations were brought against him nearly a year ago, and he vehemently denied them.” Winston Denmark, a partner in the firm, said in a statement. “Fincher Denmark appreciates inclusion, embraces diversity and believes in equality for all.”
The social media posts allegedly made by Felgin began circulating on Facebook Jan. 30, 2017. The posts were allegedly made Jan. 28 on the “PBS NewsHour” Facebook page under a story about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying his country will accept refugees. Trudeau’s response followed Trump’s executive order imposing a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen and a 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee program.
Reporter Newspapers could not find the alleged posts in a search of the “PBS Newshour” Facebook page. His account was deleted in February.