Norton denies involvement in pre-election email

Norton denies involvement in pre-election email

Note: A phrase has been added to make it more clear that Norton does not have direct evidence that Bento sent the email.

PAWTUCKET – Two-time mayoral candidate David Norton is blaming one of his enemies for a pre-election mass email sent out in his name, saying he had nothing to do with the letter sent under a new email address in his name.

Norton said the contents of the email, where the writer disparaged a number of people, including his opponents, were disturbing.

He claims his frequent critic, Khrystyne Bento, was the one who sent out the email, the contents of which also disparaged Bento. Does he have any evidence that Bento was the one who sent it? “No direct evidence,” he said, but there was plenty of evidence of Bento and a council candidate following him around polls and videotaping their interactions with him, actions he deemed to be “stalking” as they called him a racist and made other claims about him.

Bento responded to Norton’s claims with the following statement.

“The pattern in which I’ve been attacked by white men with similar biases and malicious intentions toward me has made me cautious in my responses. I refuse to entertain the gaslit race-card baiting that happens too often in this diverse city. The obvious favoritism toward allegations made by white men against minority women, which are clearly false and easily proven so, are belittling, and I refuse to play into the ‘wanna be a master’ games. A simple tracking of the IP address in which the email originated from would suffice, but who’s willing to that? The set-up is always real, and in this city, grown men love drama more than most.”

She said fake accounts are part of Norton’s pattern, asking who else besides him, the “cyber nerd,” would be savvy enough to send out such an email using a secure service.

Bento said Norton tried to claim she verbally attacked him at the polls, but noted that her posted video shows he actually addressed her first.

Norton said he also believes others are behind the email, including someone who’s controlled by others. He said this group took a number of steps to block his efforts to win the mayor’s seat, including showing up at an event to try to prevent him from collecting signatures.

So why do so many people have it out for him? “Because I removed them from a Facebook page” he helps run, said Norton, who operates a number of Pawtucket’s community Facebook pages.

Norton had 34.7 percent of the vote after polling location ballots were counted on primary day. He told The Breeze prior to the counting of nearly 3,000 mail ballots that he expected to be able to flip that percentage and win the election. He said he called the “vast majority” of the people on the mail ballot list and gave them the information they needed to make an informed decision.

The end result, however, was incumbent Donald Grebien doing slightly better on mail ballots, increasing his margin of victory to 65.5 percent to 34.5 percent over Norton.

Norton later posted that he had a good run but came up short, thanking his supporters and voters for considering his ideas and proposals. He also congratulated Grebien on his big win, saying they have ideological differences, but not personal differences, and the contents of the letter did not represent him.

The original election eve email warns that a number of people, including Grebien, will end up in jail. It states that the mayor was working with others to incite violence against Norton and to cover up crimes.

Norton said the people the letter criticizes are the same ones responsible for it being sent out.