In a shocking interview written by Craig Malisow, and published on the Houston Press website, local Houston attorney and campaign coordinator for Louis Guthrie, Candice Schwager, told Malisow that Carl Pittman, candidate for Harris County Sheriff, “strangled and killed” his wife in Carlsbad California and that there is a conspiracy by Adrian Garcia and Alan Bernstein to shut down her non-profit websites.
This story was originally intended to be about the copyright violation that Schwager was accused of by Houston photographer and Chronicle employee, Jay Lee. Allegedly Candice Schwager was using Mr Lee’s photos without permission on her website and he filed a standard DMCA complain to have them taken down – then the drama started.
When Houston photographer, Houston Chronicle blogger and KPFT tech-talk show co-host Jay Lee found out last month that one of his copyrighted pics of Houston’s skyline had been used without permission on multiple Web sites, he sent the Web hosts a Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice informing them of the situation. That’s when the ghost of Rod Serling stepped in, took a drag off his Chesterfield and informed Lee that he had just e-mailed [pause] The Twilight Zone.
Why is that, Hair Balls? you ask. We’ll tell you why: One of the sites using the pic belonged to a woman named Candice Schwager, who blogs about all the various conspiracies she’s uncovered throughout her life, as well as her disapproval of Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia. The thing is, Schwager’s 14 Web sites were registered via GoDaddy.com, and it’s apparently the company’s policy to suspend a client’s account — i.e., all of their domains — even if a DMCA take-down notice only applies to one. When her account was suspended, she threatened to sue Lee for everything from harassment to defamation.
The weirdness blew the minds of techies and photographers in the blogosphere; before long, sites like Slashdot and Petapixel were covering the story.
Schwager believed this to be a conspiracy between Garcia, Lee, and a former Chron reporter named Alan Bernstein to destroy her credibility and abridge her freedom of speech. (Bernstein is a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, but Schwager describes him as Garcia’s campaign manager). Her allegations, as presented on one of her blogs, are a jumbled, stream-of-consciousness sideshow: “Jay Lee and his outrageous lynch mob media printing lies to smear Candice have gone so over the top, there’s simply more to the story. I’ve never met anyone so masochistic, begging to be smacked, as Jay. Call in the lynch mob! It goes all the way to Scotland! what’s really up? [sic]“
Ms Schwager went on to accuse Mr Lee of theft, claiming that he changed her AppleID and bought apps using her account to harass her, and that she will sue Mr Lee and the Houston Press for libel. Then she took things to a new level of WEIRD with her a rant about Sheriff Candidate Carl Pittman.
Since Schwager was so preoccupied with how Lee, Bernstein, Garcia and others libeled her, we told her we assumed that she believed she wasn’t committing libel herself. Therefore, we asked her for documents or any other evidence to support her allegations. She said she’d send it, but she didn’t.
“I really have enough on my plate and I don’t have time to convince reporters who are liberally bent towards Garcia anyway that…what I say is right,” she said.
She then segued into a rant about Sheriff’s candidate Carl Pittman, a Republican whom she said contributed to Garcia’s campaign: “You should get public records from Adrian Garcia….[Pittman] strangled and killed his wife in Carlsbad — two wives now, he’s beaten — he sexually abused her, sticking huge cucumbers in places they don’t belong, he’s been evicted eight to ten times, 2007, Adrian Garcia did an investigation — it was all over the Internet….Well, all of a sudden, he gives him a campaign contribution and he’s not fired. The guy is corrupt, and if you don’t know that, I’m wasting my time.”
Hair Balls could find no public records accusing Pittman of murder, rape by cucumber or donating to Garcia, for what it’s worth.
Why the accusation of murder against Carl Pittman and the conspiracy theory about Adrian Garcia? After a quick Google search we noticed that she claims on her resume to be the Campaign Coordinator, Avid Supporter, Cheerleader and “Girl Friday” of Louis Guthrie, candidate for Harris County Sheriff.
Louis Guthrie is currently in a run-off race with Carl Pittman – The winner of this race will go on to face Adrian Garcia in the general election in November.
While Guthrie has publicly praised his recent opponents on Facebook for running a “clean race”, this type of mud slinging is the worst I’ve seen in years. Photos of Ms Schwager with Louis Guthrie, her online resumes, and dozens of strange postings on blogs sites supporting Louis Guthrie show that she is definitely for his campaign in some manner.
Carl Pittman and Louis Guthrie BOTH have been accused of some nasty things in this campaign, but Guthrie is the only one that has been terminated for his behavior. I’m pretty sure that if a person was guilty of murder and sexual assault, they wouldn’t still be employed with the Sheriffs Office. Guthrie claims that the courts have vindicated him from the charges that ended his career with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, but the official documents show that there will be further proceedings on this matter.
Ms Schwager ended her phone interview with Mr Malisow with a profanity laced tear that we’ll have to edit since it isn’t appropriate to print (You can read the uncensored version on Houston Press).
Finally, we posited this to Schwager, since we feel that the veracity of such allegations ought to be tested: Would an outsider examining this situation believe it’s more likely that a person was the target of politicians, photographers, and the media, or “do you think it’s more likely that the person saying that is nuts?”
Her response, before hanging up, was this: “You know, I think that you’re a f***ing ***hole and you can go to hell, and if you print anything I’ll sue you and the paper. Goodbye.”
Shortly thereafter, on the Twitter page of one FairyViviann, came the tweets, “sheriff garcia – mini obama,” “jay lee is a thug homo,” and “some ***hole masilw from the pothead press called today.”