SAN MARCOS, Calif. – Matt Weaver, editor of the controversial The Koala newspaper known for its homophobic and racist views, has been arrested and accused of election fraud at California State University San Marcos.
Campus police arrested Weaver on Thursday night after being tipped off by information technology officials about suspicious activity on a university-owned computer, officials said.
CSUSM spokeswoman Margaret Lutz told the North County Times:
"They were able to observe this student, and there was some suspicious activity taking place in relation to the election. The Police Department responded, and they found this student to be in possession of several devices often used illegally to capture key strokes of people entering their log-ins and passwords."
Weaver was one of two candidates standing for election as president of the Associated Students Inc. (ASI).
Authorities charged Weaver with three felony counts of unlawful access to a computer or database, identity theft and election fraud. He was booked into the Vista jail and was released early Friday after posting $50,000 bail, authorities said.
CSUSM officials invalidated the campus election, expressing concerns that the results were tainted.
San Diego Gay & Lesbian News contributor Kit-Bacon Gressitt, whose weekly commentary is published on Mondays, has written extensively about Weaver and The Koala. Gressitt noted in her commentary published March 12 that Weaver was running for office clandestinely by not fully informing students that he is the editor of the controversial newspaper that is not sanctioned by the university.
Gressitt reported that The Koala, which prints editions at San Diego State University and the University of California San Diego, is a for-profit, privately-owned tabloid that disparages just about every minority group on the planet. She said:
“Weaver has not yet acknowledged the discriminatory and harassing content of The Koala. In fact, just last semester, Weaver was extolling the supposedly humorous virtues of The Koala’s racist, homophobic, misogynistic, pedophilic and violent content.
“But now Matt Weaver wants to represent the very people The Koala maligns for their race and ethnicity, for their sexual orientation, for being disabled or old or ill — or female.”
Gressitt, who was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize while working at the North County Times, has returned to school and is a student at CSUSM. Thanks to her watchdog coverage of Weaver and The Koala, along with others, fellow students at CSUSM became aware of Weaver’s connection to the newspaper during the ASI campaign.
10News.com has also tracked Weaver and The Koala, broadcasting news about various controversies involving students who said they were maligned in the newspaper. Student Angelo Ferrer told 10News that Weaver’s campaign was a joke.
"He does not represent Cal State San Marcos and I'd be embarrassed to say someone like that is in a leadership position here at Cal State."
Campus officials said the police investigation will continue as authorities seek a search warrant to find out what was downloaded on the devices in Weaver’s possession.