A woman critical of politics in a small Missouri town says she received intimidating notes last week threatening to reveal supposed "sexually explicit" emails involving her unless she "back[s] away" from the city now.
The note, with the words spelled out from what appears to be magazine clippings, suggests that unless Erin Kasten, 39, of Pevely halts her criticism of city politics, embarrassing emails will be leaked to her friends, family and even the public. The 39-year-old says she received the note at work on Friday.
"We have copies of sexually explicit emails that we don't think you would like to be exposed to your family or friends or the public," the note, being investigated by authorities and published by the Leader, says. "Back away from Pevely now!"
Kasten, however, said no such emails existed and said that if they did she would give the local newspaper permission to publish them on the front page, according to KTVI-TV.
The 39-year-old, who only moved to Pevely months ago, has been heavily critical of city politics, skewering the government for failing to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenues, paying a six-figure settlement with an adult story officials tried to keep out of the town and paying for the cell phone bill of the mayor's wife, among other things, KTVI-TV reported.
“I’m not saying anything a lot of people aren’t thinking, Kasten reportedly said at a Board of Aldermen meeting Monday night. "I just stand up and speak at the meeting.”
“If I don’t stand up for what I think is right, I really can’t expect anybody else to do the same,” she added at the meeting, secured by both uniformed and regular clothed police officers.
While speaking at the meeting, Kasten faced the crowd, saying she didn't want to turn her back on "certain people, appearing to suggest the culprits behind the letter were in attendance at the meeting.
A reward of $1,000 was put out by an alderman for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the individual(s) behind the notes. A Pavely resident and political adversary of Kasten also donated an extra $500 to the cause, according to KTVI-TV.
Police are continuing to investigate the notes and are providing extra patrols of Katen's house in the meantime. Federal authorities may even become involved, since the notes involved the U.S. mail system.
Kasten, however, continued to remain steadfast in her criticism of the local politics Monday night.
“So, to whoever sent these letters — I think you have your answer: No, I won’t back away from Pevely,” she said. “If you don’t like listening to what I have to say, don’t worry you have to listen to me much longer, you’ll be sitting in a jail cell soon.”
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