Who Is the Mysterious Dr. Mudd?
By SUE PASCOE
Circling the News received a private message on August 13 via the social media site, Nextdoor Palisades:
“I’m not sure if you want to pursue this, but there was strange post on Nextdoor by someone named Joey Mudd, M.D. It seemed like it was basically an attempt to mudsling a candidate for PPCC.”
Circling the News contacted Nextdoor and asked if the IP address could be traced to the person.
In an August 20 email, a respondent from Nextdoor, who gave his name as Garrett, told Circling the News he couldn’t divulge the IP address or the person’s real name, but “If you don’t see their profile any longer in the directory, it’s a good bet that they are off the website, at least for a short time.”
Mudd, or whoever was using that name, is now off Nextdoor. In a carelessly written, inarticulate posting, “He” initially slammed a candidate on Nextdoor in a reply to a post by Highlands resident Diane Bleak.
“Are you even aware of the fact that one of these candidates who is the president of his HOA and that for dozens and dozens of years his HOA DOES NOT participate, does not pay any dues or are they involved in the Highlands President council.
“But his HOA gets the ACS Patrol coverage FREE 24/7 365 days a year for decades with OUT paying ONE THIN DIME! Now ask yourself, is this long existing situation in this candidate’s HOA fair and just for all of the hard homeowners, working people the doctors, nurses, shop owners, teachers, lawyers, realtors, ETC? How well can this fellow represent Area 2 when he as president of his own HOA been cheating our Highlands area private security fund? Maybe to the average man in the street who is casting his vote that the lack of integtry (Sic), no backbone and lacking in character just is not the of person that one wishes to represent our area 2 on the PPCC. Joe Mudd, MD.”
Steve Cron, who is one of two candidates running for Area 2, saw the post and responded.
“I don’t want to engage in a long conversation about the Presidents’ Council or the policies of my HOA, but if your post was referring to me, respectfully, you have the facts wrong,” Cron wrote, and explained that he has never been president of his HOA. “Several years ago, I served on the board of my HOA for a couple of years, and during that time I urged them to pay our share of the security company costs but was unsuccessful. If you want to hold the policies of my HOA against me, that is your right, but if you want to attack me, please get your facts right.”
Who is Dr. Joey Mudd and where does he live? He listed 1475 Chastain Parkway as his address. That is the same address as Peter Culhane, who is vice chair of the Pacific Palisades Community Council.
The Nextdoor Highlands lead (a local resident designated by Nextdoor to monitor exchanges) was contacted and found that Mudd had first registered in June 2018 and then reregistered in August 2018 (recommended by Highlands resident Tom Meade). The lead said he was going to report it to Nextdoor for registering twice and for a possible identity problem.
Meade was contacted about Mudd but said he didn’t know anyone by that name. He said he had initially told Peter Culhane about Nextdoor in January 2017.
Meade private messaged Dr. Mudd last week, “I don’t remember inviting you, but you show up as one of my two invites this year. . . .Your physical address was the same as Culhane. Is it possible ND made a mistake?”
Meade never got a response.
In June, Mudd had recommended an air conditioning company to other Nextdoor readers. That company was contacted and the owner, Rick, didn’t remember the name Mudd, but remembered the doctor’s listed address, 1475 Chastain, and said “That’s where Peter Culhane lives.” Culhane was a customer.
Peter Culhane was called to see if he knew Dr. Joey Mudd, because Mudd had the same address. “No Mudd lives here,” Culhane said.
When explained about the Nextdoor posting, he said: “I don’t believe in it [Nextdoor]. I don’t follow it. I’m not a social media person.”
“Someone’s fooling with me or something,” he said. “Someone’s phishing or I’ve been hacked.”
About Cron, he said he wouldn’t write anything about him because, “I barely know the guy.”
He said he was not the person who had posted the remarks. “I go to 8 a.m. mass every day. I’ve done good stuff and I continue to do good stuff.”
He said that whenever he gets alerts from Nextdoor, he automatically deletes them. Culhane was told that in order to get alerts he needs to be signed up. He speculated that his IT guy signed him up through Google.
In an August 17 email to Circling the News, the Highlands Nextdoor lead said, “I do not see a profile for him [Culhane].”
How easy is it to sign up with a fake identity on Nextdoor? We asked Sue Kohl, another neighborhood lead, and she wrote:
“When people try to sign up for Nextdoor with a fake name, often they are successful. Leads are often asked to ‘verify’ people as living at certain addresses. I used to spend a lot of time going through public records to try to verify new members, but I finally gave up. For one thing, there is no public record if a person is renting a house. It took too much time.
“If I ever noticed an address I knew with fake names attached, I always let Nextdoor know,” Kohl said. “If any Nextdoor member knows of a person using a fake name/address, they can report that person to Nextdoor.”