Mayor Arrested for Hacking Website that Tried to Recall Him


A New Jersey mayor and his son were arrested Thursday by the FBI for allegedly infiltrating and sabotaging a website tied to an effort to recall him.

The story gives a new and troubling definition to the term "political hack."

[More from Mashable: Obama Answers Twitter Questions Himself]

The FBI has accused Felix Roque, mayor of West New York, N.J., and his 22-year-old son of illegally canceling the domain name registration of, a site that wanted Roque taken out of office in a recall election earlier this year, according to Politico.

Currently, the site is loading as an an error-laden landing page.

[More from Mashable: ‘Privacy Is Awesome’ Campaign Aims to Kill CISPA]

Roque's 22-year-old son Joseph was the mastermind behind the hack. According to a criminal complaint made public this afternoon, he learned how to penetrate email accounts and Recallroque's host,, by searching for instructions on the web.

Roque, however, didn't stop there. After taking down the site, he called the owner of the site, who was identified only as a government official in Hudson County, N.J., to intimidate him. Roque told the owner that the site was removed by "high government officials" and that "everyone would pay for getting involved against Mayor Roque."

He also said he had a friend at the CIA, which is how he "got information," and that Roque's own activities weren't "very kosher."

The mayor and his son are being charged with gaining unauthorized access to computers in furtherance of causing damage to protected computers; causing damage to protected computers; and conspiracy to commit those crimes.

The arrests were announced by the U.S. Attorney for the district of New Jersey, Paul J. Fishman.

“In this case, the elected leader of West New York and his son allegedly hacked into computers to intimidate constituents who were simply using the Internet to exercise their Constitutional rights to criticize the government,” said Fishman.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, RapidEye

This story originally published on Mashable here.

View Comments (855)