PENNSYLVANIA — Lou Barletta likes to make a show of backing the police, but he just announced a “Public Safety Advisory Board” that includes a shady political operative with a history of impersonating police officers and reporters.
Ariel Benjamin Mannes is a self-proclaimed “subject matter expert” who made waves in Bucks County in 2018 by impersonating a Bucks County Courier Times reporter to get tracking footage of Democratic congressional candidate Scott Wallace. Mannes was on the payroll of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s campaign — which cut ties with him as soon as the unethical behavior was made public.
Even worse, Mannes pled guilty in 2005 to false impersonation of police and carrying a pistol without a license outside of a home.
“Lou Barletta says he supports the police, but he just appointed a man who illegally impersonated a police officer to his Public Safety Advisory Board,” said Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesman Brendan Welch. “Impersonating police is an insult to the work law enforcement officers do every day, and it says a lot about Barletta’s lack of credibility that he thinks a man with such a sketchy past should be advising him on how to keep Pennsylvania families safe. Barletta should immediately remove Mannes from this advisory board and issue an apology.”