Capistrano Unified Trustee John Alpay is behind at least one of the misleading domain names used to redirect web traffic from one site to another.
Alpay confirmed he bought the URL www.holdcusdaccountable.com, which continues to send visitors to the website for Capistrano Unified Children First, an advocacy group that endorsed his re-election efforts.
“I am indeed the registrant/owner of holdcusdaccoutable.com,” Alpay told Patch.
Wayne Tate, lawyer for the real Hold CUSD Accountable, a group critical of the current board majority including Alpay, shared with Patch confirmation from GoDaddy.com that Alpay is the registrant on the bogus Hold CUSD Accountable URL. GoDaddy – which has hosted at least seven misleading websites tied to Capistrano Unified personalities and groups – confirmed the authenticity of the email.
“I think it’s unethical and immoral,” Tate said. “Many would consider it cyber-impersonation or cyber-vandalism.”
He notes that Alpay purchased the domain name June 9, one day after Hold CUSD Accountable issued a press release announcing its formation.
“This wasn’t happenstance. This was a deliberate strategy,” Tate said.
Patch has uncovered seven domain names that looked like they were taking readers to CUSD-related groups or candidates but then redirected readers to sites mostly run by opposing factions. The targets are mostly critics of the current regime, and their sites redirected traffic to Children First, Alpay’s or President Gary Pritchard’s campaign sites.
All but Alpay’s are disabled. Unlike the others, his redirect keeps the name of Hold CUSD Accountable in the URL while the content on the page is Children First’s and includes that site's active links.
Other emailed communiqués from GoDaddy show Children First volunteer .
However, Korpi denied he’s the one behind those sites. He said someone posed as him when registering those domains.
According to Alpay’s campaign financial statements, he paid Korpi more than $2,500 this year for “campaign management services.”
Tate said because all the sites went to either Children First’s, Alpay’s or Pritchard’s site, it looks like there was some coordination among the parties involved.
“It looks like a conspiracy to impersonate websites to some advantage, and the only advantage I can see is the elections,” he said.