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Ad falsely claims Connecticut politician has criminal record

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — An online political ad falsely claimed that a Bridgeport city councilwoman had a criminal record after the organization that placed the ad confused her with another person with the same name.

Hearst Connecticut Media reported that the ad that ran Sunday claimed that Councilwoman Maria Pereira, a Democrat competing in a primary Tuesday to keep her seat, was found “guilty of threatening in the second degree and disorderly conduct.”

Bridgeport Generation Now Votes, the civic group that paid for the ad, admitted Monday that it was inaccurate. Representatives for the organization said online court records turned up a Maria H. Pereira with the same birth year and month as the councilwoman, June 1967, but it was a different person.

“When we were aware that it was not her, we immediately pulled the ad and took that out,” Generation Now member Gemeem Davis said.

Pereira said she would file a defamation lawsuit over the identity mix-up.

“I have already texted Gemeem Davis that I will be pursuing litigation against BPT Gen Now Votes after the primary,” Pereira wrote in an email to Hearst Connecticut Media, adding: “This is the organization that is going to ‘save Bridgeport from corruption and unethical behavior’? P-L-E-A-S-E!” 

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