Home » Top Highlights » Tweets ignite questions about checkered past of DeMaio’s life partner

Tweets ignite questions about checkered past of DeMaio’s life partner

Johnathan Hale

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.



Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=24593

Posted by LGBT Weekly on May 17, 2012. Filed under Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

55 Comments for “Tweets ignite questions about checkered past of DeMaio’s life partner”

  1. I wish I could remember all the people that have stories about Johnathan Hales past

  2. Well I am sure Carl Demaio can buy Jonathan all the jeans he needs. In fact, according to this picture looks like he’s due for a new pair.

  3. So… Michael Vic is convicted of leading a dog fighting ring, goes to prison, and months after his release, the nation gives him a pass to re-enter the NFL and rake in endorsement deals valued at millions. Yet someone who steals from a clothing store, probably what, 10+ years ago, is going to have this held over their head forever? I’m sorry- our priorities are seriously fucked up, gentlemen.

    • I, personally, never gave Michael Vicks a pass. Speak for yourself. A persons criminal background is certainly germane to the mayoral race, especially if he is going to be intimate with the mayor’s office. There is the question of integrity, especially since they won’t address the question. It’s like their hiding something.

  4. I wouldn’t consider Kurt Cunningham an activist. Local party boy maybe but not an activist.

  5. I hate DeMaio as much as the next guy but you are going to drag his partner in the mud on this? Wooptidoo…the guy stole some clothes from a store a long time ago. a) He is not the candidate, b) even if he was I probably wouldn’t care.

    Find something better to attack DeMaio on…like how wrong he is on everything.

  6. James: the theft was from a store he worked at. So no loyalty, discount wasn’t good enough for him, couldn’t plead total poverty because he had a job (at least until he was caught, presumably).
    I think it is safe to assume that most people who steal from their work like that are habitual offenders.

  7. Wow… this is actually pretty petty stuff, not to mention an incredibly jumbled article to read. A felony for stealing jeans 10+ years ago???? I thought LGBT weekly was supposed to have integrity and poise, now it just seems like another gossip column. I’ll think twice before advertising here again.

    • It was not just jeans. Goodness!! Hale and his “Haliases” had restraining orders, violence. Forgery. Check stealing. Prison Time. He’s a scary boy! Whoever comes on here and lies to minimize Hale’s convict past (see “stealing jeans 10+years ago” above) is in DeMaoi’s camp. While you wait for the next addition of this newspaper., study the p.d.f’s and spread the word. Study the pdf’s in this article.I am next writing to tell UT San Diego to PULL THEIR ENDORSEMENT of the illegal union before they lose all credibility.

  8. Thank you Mr Sensze and this publication for letting the world know what’s going on. I COULD NOT BELIEVE San Diego’s leading newspaper endorsed DeMaio. HUGE mistake. Thank you Lorena Gonzales. You are a politican with courage. Hale is not so much an LGBT acitvist as a pornographer, and a con man with mutliple identities, a convicted felon, who can’t wait to get his hands on our money. Does DeMaio know? Of course does. He is a liar and bully too. We must NOT hand these two hustlers the reigns to our fine city!!!

  9. This is a man I have heard nothing good about. I have only heard stories of him threatening people with editorials looking into their background if they don’t leave Carl DeMaio alone. I have also heard that he has left some vile voicemails to Nicole MR.

    He keeps trying to stuff his boyfriend down our throats and pretending to be unbiased meanwhile his company Hale Media shows up on contribution disclosures for DeMaio.

    This guy is a bully, and his relation to the candidate shows the candidate’s judgement or lack of. Especially allowing someone like this in the mayors office and having such lackluster control over confidential matters.

  10. Ok- so let’s take another step back. I think I need to look at this story from another angle: Young dumbass gets arrested for doing something stupid. Turns life around. Becomes successful business man. The horror- the SHAME! I think Antoine Dodson said it best: “Y’all need to hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband”. Clearly someone who learns from past mistakes, does a 180 and embarks on a better path in life is a threat to us all.

    • James dear, you are misinformed.Or else you are Johnathan Hale or Carl Demaio or one of their “people” who seed message boards, as they always do. This is not his past. Hale is currently a liar. Why has he not defended himself? You need to review all the court documents and study Hale, his business, his entire criminal record (very long). His many identities. I hope the IRS looks into Hale’s many businesses including shopco*ck.com. Maybe he fooled DeMaio in the beginning. Then they both managed to fool San Deigo’s once hot-shot UT into an endorsement. But if they fooled you, then you have blinders on or else you work for them. I bet the boys’ panties are in great big knots tonight.

  11. I strongly believe that if the circumstances were different, and it was a heterosexual couple, this would definitely come out in the media and be relevant for the spouse of a candidate running for office. Why don’t we hold gay people just as accountable? Great job Stampp!

  12. You have editors over there? It’s Dave Maass, with another s…easy to verify. “One of who…”? Why the commas between the names of the media outlets and the reporter? Another set of eyes on your copy, please.

    • So far, the best comment I’ve read in criticism to this article. I stand corrected (except for the comma question – if you don’t see why the commas; consider this: The comma can be replaced with the word “of.” It’s just more elegant to use a comma. But touche on the spelling!). – Ed.

  13. Whatever will I do if my mayor’s boyfriend stole some jeans over 10 years ago in Arkansas?! I don’t know if I can live!

    • Don, if it was about jeans, do you think LGBT weekly would have published this. The documents are massive. Gracious! Wait until you see the news in the days ahead. Hale is like a mini Cunanan.

    • Don, you need to read the 108 page court document. Also I would say ,our Spouses, Girlfriends, Boyfriends & Life partners are to a large extent a reflection of our own Values, so I would say the moral character of any political candidate’s other half, is of great importance.

  14. As the publisher of LGBT Weekly, this is not about a pair of jeans. It is about the unfettered access to city documents that is on display in the picture, coupled with Hale’s past. It illustrates a lack of judgement on Hale’s part to post the picture and on DeMaio’s part to allow the access to his offices.

  15. I do not support Carl. I support Bob Filner. Do I think Johnathan’s past is relevant? Perhaps. Do I think Johnathan is a respected member of the LGBT community in San Diego? Yes. Do I think all of us are capable of change, for the better, yes. Does his potentially having been a felon impact my feelings about him? Not really. would I like to hear a straightforward explanation? Yes, I guess. Do I find this piece of journalism to be somewhat shoddy? Yes. Do I wonder why there is not a blind, identifying the writer of the story? Yes. Will this story have an impact on the Mayor’s race? I doubt it, unless it serves to stick the nose of the MSM under Carl’s gay tent and creates a major firestorm of publicity that raises in the public mind questions about Carl, his homosexuality, and the fact that he sleeps with a felon who is gay. Do I think the final result is good for the gay community? No., it is destructive.

    • Alex this about unfettered access to DeMaio’s office and confidential information, as illustrated in the picture. Hale’s past may be of concern to voters if he has this type of access.

  16. Alex who respects Johnthan Hale? His party boys and staff? That doesn’t count. Sorry!

  17. Party boys don’t count? They aren’t people? Sounds like some internalized homophobia/hatred towards a part of the community.

  18. Alex, I respect your well written opinion. but I must disagree with one thing, this will NOT hurt our gay community. It will help because when LGBT, a gay publication exposes a gay candidate, that’s says something significant about LGBT’s objective journalism. This has nothing to do with sexual preference. Bad people are gay, straight, whatever. I do not think this is shoddy journalism. I think is great journalism becuz it exposed corruption. It was brave for this paper and Gonzales and the unnamed sources to come forward. So if this turns out to be destructive as you suggest, my partner and I hope will destroy the possibility of DeMaoi getting into office. I know for a fact DeMaoi is an arrogant, pompous, rude, verbally abusive bully. And he has a lying, thieving, cheating boyfriend who is not who he appears to be. Who is that boyfriend really? Johnathan Hale, Hackett or Wyckoff. Will the real Johnathan Whoever please stand up? I repeat the soon to be famous twitterism:
    Johnathan ARE you a convicted felon?
    Why were restraining orders issued against you?
    Why DID you spend time in prison?

    • Hi, anon. I think this could hurt our community because, in the hands of political consultants it could be made into a venal attack on their relationship designed to flame homophobia in voters who react to homophobic messaging. Just look at some of the ugly blowback from the President’s support of marriage equality. This draws attention to the actual fact that, indeed, Carl gets in bed with a man every night, and that, perhaps, that man has a criminal background. Then we are subject to all the ‘what if’ stuff that straight couples are not subject to. Do I think it is newsworthy that Johnathan may have a criminal record? Yes. Do I think this article airs that question properly and in a journalistically well thought out way? No.

      • Hi Alex,

        I hear you on this. I am the author of the article. I’m not sure what you mean by “Do I wonder why there is not a blind, identifying the writer of the story?” I’m assuming “blind” was a typo or erroneous autocomplete. Please clarify, so I can answer your question.

        Also, it’s important to remember the news here is that a public figure was publicly saying that the partner of someone who may soon run the 7th largest city in America. Do you think if Mayor Sanders’ wife had been accused of and been guilty of these same allegations that the media WOULDN’T report that the head of the local labor union was making the allegations?

        Sometimes, as a community, you’ve got to courageously expose your truths to the light of day. In the long and wide arc of history, doing that always furthers the cause of achieving equality.

        I sincerely ask you, Alex; how would you would have reported this differently? I’m open to learning how I can do a better job next time. – Thom Senzee, – Ed.

  19. So embarrassing- American Eagle… not even Abercrombie & Fitch!

  20. I do not find it surprising that the same politician who knowingly lies to San Diegans to help benefit multi-million dollar business owners, “mingles” with a criminal, pornographer. Carl Demiao lives his life indulging in an unethical moral “low road”. The fact that his closest companion has a complex criminal record should be the least of San Diegos concerns.

  21. Stolen jeans, a name change and a picture in a city councilman’s office is all they could really pin on this guy? Too bad everyone with real ammunition against this guys character, credibility, and questionable business practices have either passed away or don’t really give enough of a shit to risk a bogus libel/slander case. All I can say is I hope Fletcher gets it, if not just to keep this first lady away form other peoples money or measurable power of any kind. At least we know theres nothing to left steal from the pension fund, unions already got to that!

    I hope more people come forward about their past experiences…I really don’t mind Carl and I wish I could stand behind the guy. Unfortunately, in my opinion, anybody that would put their trust in Hale is not to be trusted themselves. Hellen Keller may be an exception, and thats because of the whole sensory deprivation thing…..

  22. Mr. Hale, Mr. Portantino says “Hello”.

  23. Luke, Very funny truly and how true. back then he only dreamed about abercrombie.
    ConcernedSd. Me too! However there is armor around DeMaio. Perhaps Hale is the chink in DeMaio’s armor . I think if the two could be tied together financially and DeMaoi knowingly conspired with Hale in any way, DeMaoi’s career is no longer. I also agree, DeMaio is so desperate for power he will travel any road, especially the low one, That’s why he is with Hale.

  24. I’m sorry, but as disgusted as I am by DeMaio, I’m far more disgusted by this issue coming up. I believe the President put it best, in 2008 of Palin…family is off limits. I would like to see people look at DeMaio’s record, background, and vision for San Diego. If you do, you’ll see he is the worst choice among the four candidates. His family and personal relationships will not lead our city.

  25. Okay okay, hold on a second here. I’m a little confused. I’m reading the court documents and I have to say, they seem to be taken out of context and downright lied about on same occasions. Everyone is alleging his record is very, very long, but it looks as if some of it wasn’t even him. One of them is a law suit from 1974 against a Wyckott. Really? How old is Mr. Hale exactly, and would he be old enough to make a contract to pay some $600 odd dollars for something in 1974 under a different name, that he subsequently was sued over? Another one appears to be a restraining order against father to son, and son to father. I wonder which is more correct.

    Aside from that, what is his RECENT record like? How is his life currently? Why must he be punished for eternity for a series of past mistakes that he, apparently, has learned from?

  26. I don’t like Carl DeMaio, Bob Filner, Bonnie Demanis or Nathan Fletcher. They ALL are career, sleaze bag politicians with lots of skeletons that some have successfully kept hidden from the voters. If had to vote for any one of them I would vote for ’NONE OF THE ABOVE”. The voters of San Diego have been given a really sorry lot for candidates to be their next Mayor.

    Oh – WHO are all these spineless turkeys who are so terrified to put their names to their comments? Comments under the name “ANONYMOUS” sure don’t carry any weight with me. They never have. People who use pseudonyms are just as spineless and their comments also carry no weight with me. At least Alex Sachs has the courage of his convictions and the BALLS to defend his convictions by using his identifiable name.

  27. Wherever Michael Portantino is right now, he has a huge grin on his face. Everyone knew Carl and Jonathan were out to destroy Michael. What is that saying, don’t throw stones in glass houses? While Jonathan’s previous names were somewhat ugly, it appears he changed his monkier for a reason and i doubt it was over some denim. Too bad Michael couldn’t have found these stories when Jonathan took stolen proprietary information and published it. Vote for whoever you want in the election, but good work on LGBT weekly for exposing that Jonathan is no saint and he is as much as a scum bag as he claimed Portantino was. All I have to say is he must be one great lay for Carl to stay with him, then again… “birds of a feather”

  28. Should we ask Lorena Gonzalez all of the people she has slept with or dated? Labor has once again gone too far.

  29. Fred, it’s not that I’m spineless it’s that I realize I live in a very sue happy society. I just got done defending myself to the cost of over $10,000 in a bullshit libel case for evicting a tenant for blatant drug use at the property and discussing the use of drugs at the property with other tenants. That said, I watch what I say unless I have hard proof or want to spend the money to defend myself against say DeMaio’s campaign. I’d bet thats also what kept LGBT weekly from really publishing what many of us already know to be fact about the people in question here….So in response to your question as to ‘who all us spineless turkeys are’, we’re the guys with something to lose.

  30. Ah, my first ever anonymous comment. Yep… Hale is that scary. I’ve heard many stories of his threats and, of course, there are always the rumours about his vendetta against Michael Portantino. I was really hoping to find something good in here, but this document dump appears to be mostly that… a dump. Hale filed for bankruptcy when he was in his early 20s and owed about 140K in credit cards and the such. His father divorced his mother when he was very young and didn’t pay child support. Hale was accused of beating up two boyfriends who got restraining orders against him. Not at all surprising to those who know him, but probably not the type of thing which really belongs in the press. Hale sued his father for what seems like an exorbitant amount over wrongful termination and sexual harassment for calling him a faggot. He changed his name (from what I understand, not all that uncommon after filing bankruptcy). He stole food from a grocery store when he was out of work and alleges that he couldn’t afford it. And he wrote a bad check for $300 (was that to American Eagle? I couldn’t read the bad scans of the court docs) Most of this stuff happened around the time he was 21. He’s now 41. Other than the domestic violence accusations, I don’t know if you guys really have anything worth reporting here.

  31. Hi. I use my name and am known in the community. Would rather not discuss with an anonymous. Plus, don’t feel like discussing, just wanted to react. Stampp, my apologies about the non- byline statement – the online version did not have a byline. I will say that, if the focus was truly on the ‘confidential’ file then the article could have been written better to make that focus clear. Thanks.

  32. Fred Scholl. Sir I can not speak for for all who post under anonymous. Just myself. This is true of me. “Anonymous” people often have neither the money, time, desire, nor feeling of personal safety to step forward in such a public forward and name themselves. And face a lawsuit. or harassment. Some anonymous people have been hurt by one of both of these men. They are victims. To put their names here, my name here could put them in danger. For example, they could destroy my small business by deciding to sue me. I am not a powerful person like you. Have you seen DeMaio humiliate that Congressman on You Tube? I don’t want that. I am one of the nameless faces, 1 of the 99% with an opinion that will anger these rich and powerful men. I do not want to be sued or threatened .I believe Freedom of speech grants me this protection when I am poor yet still have a voice. I also believe you insult people who choose to protect themselves by refusing to acknowledge comments and anonymous person like me posts. You are a far better man than that, sir.

  33. Alex, i am done posting here. I am just one Anonymous. You said you don’t want to discuss anything with me anyway. Fine. I want you to understand one thing that is very important. Just as you misjudged the editor of this paper and the author of this article about the byline, so have you misjudged me and other Anonymous people here. I have no interest in engaging you or any one. I am not of your level in society. I am lower middle class more of the level Johnathan was back when he lived in Multnomah County Oregon. Or stayed in, I think it was, the Tennesse Department of Correction Prison. An ex con, not just a shoplifter, would live in the same quarters as the Mayor?????? This is why the boyfriend matters! It also matter because a Mayor would be involved with someone so corrupt. Rememeber Geraldine Ferraro (can’t spell) lost the race because of her husband’s troubles? Please. Consider the little people, the anonymous ones, the huddled masses too afraid, or too shy, cared, whatever, to use our names. that does not make our opinions any less valuable. I will read this board every day and post no more. The truth is coming out now. You have only seen the tip of the iceberg. So all the candidate suck? someone said. Then elect the one who sucks the least!

  34. he who is without sin when a kid should toss the first stone. Further more stealing a pair of jeans should not be a felony, that just shows how effed up the over all court system is that no one has balls to attack and fix. Who cares what Hale did when he was younger. We all were stupid at one time and we grow up. Find better dirt. This is just a waste of time.

    • It was more than just a couple of pairs of jeans! Dude really has/had some issues. Wouldn’t trust him at all now.

  35. What about all the restraining orders against Hale and Hale sitting at Carl’s desk at City Hall with confidential files right in front of him on his desk? The fish stinks at the head.

  36. If this were a straight couple, we would all be wondering about some of these allegations and question of judgement but again, we as gays, give the gays a “free pass.” Why are we so afraid of holding anyone in our community accountable? I have never understood that.

  37. I was never going to vote for Carl anyways, but I am now going to be staying clear of anything Hale/SD Pix. What a loser!

  38. Really? Dragging up this stuff from years ago to discredit DeMaio? Pathetic and desperate.

  39. Hale is a liar, thief, and has a history of violence which is well documented in official restraining orders filed against him when he lived in Portland. Should it be any surprise he suddenly appeared in San Diego about 10 years ago out of the blue and became who he is? Probably schizophrenic as well.

  40. JM in Southern California

    There’s no limit to how far back in time a vigorous smear campaign can go. I’m prepared to name several mayoral candidates who urinated and defecated in public, in the open. (They were diaper-wearing infants at the time, but I can still use the information against them, can’t I. Get it?)

  41. Prefer to be Anon

    I have known Mr. Hale for a few years now, and I have to say I have never seen a partnership/relationship where one side(Mr. Hale) does Crystal and Coke (which I have seen personally) and the other doesn’t….

  42. If you ever thought for a second that Carl Demaio was going to do anything for the LGBT community I hope by now you have been educated. As for Jonathan, I am sorry but he and his past are free game just like every other candidate. SDGLN has lost all credibility in my eyes for backing a candidate that takes money from the same people that hate us. Carl Demaio has sold out the gay community for Republican acceptance. Please educate yourself on all the things Carl has done that do not help the LGBT community. Voting against the needle exchange program, not publicly supporting Prop 8, and bashing another mayoral candidate for taking LGBT endorsements.

  43. Hale is a violent, convicted felon, and is acting as DeMaio’s bullyboy. DeMaio is verbally violent and would probably get his ass kicked on the street if he dared to talk to real thugs that way. Both of them need to go away. Now.

    • Well, I went to high school with Hale, or as I know him John Wyckoff, and this story don’t cover half of the crap he has done, as for growing up in Portland, lol I went to high school with him in little rock arkansas, where he lived with his mother, who worked at denny’s and they lived in a single wide dumpy trailer off Kanis road, McClellan high school class of 89.

  44. So.. the story begs the question.. was your source “Deep Throat?”…

    I know.. low hanging fruit lol

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