Burlington, Vt., Police Chief Brandon del Pozo used an anonymous Twitter account to troll a government critic, the Associated Press reports. Del Pozo, the chief in Vermont’s largest city, took six weeks of medical leave to seek mental health treatment after telling his story to the mayor. For an hour on July 4, del Pozo said, he used the anonymous Twitter account to respond to the critic. “I erased the tweets and deleted the account because I realized I was wrong and it wasn’t becoming of me,” he said. He created @WinkleWatchers to respond to political activist Charles Winkleman. Winkleman posted to his website that “Del Pozo’s social media is meant to bully and silence critics, whether it be private citizens or oversight groups like Copwatch, all while promoting himself.”
Winkleman told the Burlington Free Press he was surprised the chief admitted it and disappointed that the mayor had known. When first asked about the Twitter account in July, del Pozo denied he was behind it. He said he then realized that he needed to account for what he had done, and went to the mayor in person and confessed. He went on medical leave and returned to work in September. Mayor Miro Weinberger said he was “very troubled” by del Pozo’s tweets. He placed del Pozo on administrative leave and directed him to turn in his badge, gun and city phone and to stop using social media.