New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner paid a private investigator $43,100 from his campaign fund to find out who had hacked into his Twitter account when he knew all along that no one had.
Campaign records show Weiner, who was a congressman representing New York at the time, hired T&M Protection Services to discover who had hacked into his account and sent out a photo of a man's crotch covered only in underwear, the Daily News reports.
Weiner later admitted he had shot the picture of himself and accidentally tweeted it to his 40,000 Twitter followers instead of sending it in a private message. He was forced to resign from Congress over the scandal in June 2011 after admitting he had carried on online affairs with six women.
It is unclear whether Weiner broke any laws financing an investigation with campaign money when he knew the charges were false, a longtime Federal Election Commission staffer told the Daily News.
Bob Biersack, who is now a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, said it is legal to fund such probes from campaign cash, but the fact that Weiner knew there was no hacker makes his case less clear.
Weiner never repaid the campaign fund.
He announced a run for mayor of New York earlier this year, saying he had put his sexting ways behind him, but details of a new affair emerged last week. Weiner said he had continued online relationships with up to three more women after resigning Congress.
One of those women, 23-year-old Syndey Leathers, said the 48-year-old married man asked her to "hard delete" their sexually explicit talks and photos, include a picture of his own naked genitals, which she instead provided to gossip websites that posted them in both pixelated and raw versions.
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