Tweets ignite questions about checkered past of DeMaio’s life partnerTop Highlights Thursday, May 17th, 2012
In a Tweet that may rock the San Diego mayoral election, AFL-CIO of San Diego and Imperial Counties treasurer and CEO, Lorena Gonzalez, last week asked candidate and City Councilman Carl DeMaio, “Is your partner Johnathan Hale a convicted felon?”
Gonzalez’ actual Twitter post was “Time for Carl to answer real questions. @Angelonsite: @carldemaio Is your partner Johnathan Hale a convicted felon?”
Johnathan Hale is a local businessman, LGBT business-community activist as well as publisher of a popular Hillcrest-focused nightlife photo magazine and Web site, called SD Pix and SDGLN.com. He is also Carl DeMaio’s significant other, romantically speaking. Or, as the couple puts it; Hale is the man with whom DeMaio shares a “personal relationship.”
Gonzalez directed further Tweets on the subject of Hale’s past to some in the media, including high-profile reporters, such as CityBeat’s Dave Maas; Voice of San Diego’s Scott Lewis; as well as ubiquitous activist, Kurt Cunningham. Carl DeMaio and some close to his campaign were also direct-messaged the Tweets about his life-partner’s troubled youth.
Exactly what were Gonzalez and the others Tweeting about? Johnathan Hale, who was originally named John Theodore Wyckoff Jr., changed his name to Johnathan T. Hackett Jr. before finally landing on the surname “Hale.” Hale, under the names Wyckoff and Hackett does indeed have a criminal past – a past that includes a felony conviction for burglary.
“Yes; it is a felony and the crime was burglary,” said Pulaski, Ark. District Court clerk, Tom Barnes to San Diego LGBT Weekly as we sought to verify that, as John T. Wyckoff Jr., Hale was convicted as a felon for the crime of burglary. Hale, as Wyckoff, was arrested for stealing items from an American Eagle store, where he had been employed in Little Rock.
For almost three months, LGBT Weekly has been holding the story of Hale’s checkered past. It was a story brought to us by two separate, apparently unrelated sources – one of whom remains anonymous to us, and another who is known to us, but who wishes to remain anonymous to the public. As LGBT Weekly has confirmed, it is a story that includes alleged violence, admitted theft, burglary, as well as multiple name changes and restraining orders against Hale.
Prior to community, labor and media leaders’ Tweets, LGBT Weekly had remained undecided about whether the story merited publication. However with last week’s high-profile chatter and the explicit question, “Is your partner Johnathan Hale a convicted felon?” posed publicly in the Twitterverse; the decision was made for us: Go with the story.
In addition, four days after the Twitter hubbub, a so-far unidentified party created an online version of a package of leads that led San Diego LGBT Weekly to court records and direct contact with court officials in Oregon and Arkansas.
The documents can be found at http://www.truedocs.org/docs/1-1.pdf ; http://www.truedocs.org/docs/1-2.pdf ; and http://www.truedocs.org/docs/1-3.pdf .
(As of last week, the links above were no longer working. No explanation has been provided to LGBT Weekly as to why, or by whom the links were made inactive – May 26, 2012, -Ed.)
“We know that Carl DeMaio previously used campaign funds to pay for services provided by his partner, Johnathan Hale’s company,” labor leader Gonzales told LGBT Weekly in an email. “We don’t know what role, if any, Mr. Hale will play in City Hall if Carl DeMaio is elected mayor, so it’s certainly valid to ask, ‘Who is Johnathan Hale, and does he have a criminal background?’”
Neither Hale nor DeMaio have so far responded to multiple requests for comment about the documents and related issues about Hale’s past entanglements with the law. The couple has been together for approximately four years.
In addition to what role Johnathan Hale would play as San Diego’s first “first gentleman” to a gay mayor, is the question of how sound are Councilman DeMaio’s powers of judgment? The photo included in this article depicts Hale seated at a table in the councilman’s conference room. On the table is a folder labeled “confidential.” It’s impossible to know what the envelope contains. But it is possible to ask how appropriate it is for a husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend of an elected official to have easy access to sensitive information in the official’s office. This photo was posted on Johnathan Hale’s Facebook page in 2010. It was taken down shortly after it was posted. However, LGBT Weekly was able to obtain this screen capture.
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