Guilderland Web wars: Supervisor fearful for his safety

Guilderland board members are claiming identity theft and inciting controversy, and one politician said the events have led him to fear for his family's safety.

Guilderland Town Supervisor Ken Runion said that his name has showed up on 50 or more [Web] sites, and he and his wife are fearful of the implications. He said people who are not "sophisticated" enough to know he is not responsible for some of the messages on the Internet might act maliciously against him.

"It makes me fear for my own safety," he said.

Runion also said he is "leaning toward" not running for re-election, although no decision has been formally made due to the controversy.

He cited the distracting nature of a campaign and the potential for more "Web wars," as reason he is considering not running.

"I'm being bullied and badgered and attacked," he said.

Runion, and Councilman Warren Redlich, a Republican, and board member have started competing Web sites dealing with town issues, and other Web sites have popped up with controversial origins.

Councilman Warren Redlich, a Republican, and board member said that he suspects Runion of foul play, and said he is "covering his tracks" when it comes to content on the Internet, and claims he started several cites while denying doing so.

Runion claims his identity has been stolen and another party is responsible for other Web sites.

"Mr. Redlich can say what he wants. The Internet and Web is a strange thing. I'm not going to get into it. I'm concentrating on getting things done for the town."

Runion said one site started by Redlich, www.KenRunion.com qualifies as identity theft, although Redlich disagrees, stating that domain names are public, and the nature of politics allows for the free flow of information.

Redlich addressed the topic of identity theft, as it relates to information used to start Web sites.

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