Jonathan Lopez, an unsuccessful local candidate in Umatilla County, Oregon, has confessed to penning an anonymous racist letter to himself last month, police revealed this weekend.
Lopez, who is of Latino heritage, claimed to have discovered a letter addressed to him filled with racist slurs on June 23, which reportedly included the warning that he and other “Mexicans” were “not welcome here,” according to KEPR-TV. However, he has now fessed up to being the author of the hateful message, the East Oregonian reports.
“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,” Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston told the newspaper.
“Our investigation has shown that Mr. Lopez wrote the letter himself and made false statements to the police and on social media,” Edmiston wrote. “The end result is a verbal and written admission by Mr. Lopez that the letter was fabricated.”
He said the case would be forwarded to the Umatilla County District Attorney’s office for review for initiating a false report, a Class A misdemeanor in Oregon.
Lopez shared a picture of the letter to his Facebook page and has since deleted it. “Don’t waste your time trying to become anything in this county,” it said. “[W]e will make sure you never win and your family suffers along with all the other f–king Mexicans in the area!”
In his comments on the purported hate mail, Lopez claimed that he “holds no resentment for whomever wrote this.”
“I’m just simply heartbroken for the lack of knowledge, education, and respect missing,” he stated. “I pray for you and wish you prosperity in your life.”
“I never meant to file a report, it just kind of spiraled out,” he said in the written admission acquired by Edmiston. Lopez said he “never meant to mislead” the public with the fabricated message.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.