Blogger who posted Magazzu photos talks

VINELAND, N.J. - August 3, 2011

An explicit cell phone photo of the Cumberland County Freeholder Lou Magazzu surfaced on a self-proclaimed political watchdog site earlier this summer.

Tuesday, Magazzu resigned.

His attorney believes his client was set up.

This isn't the first time nude pictures have brought down a politician, but folks in Vineland say they're surprised it has hit so close to home.

"We said oh no, not another weiner episode," said Vicki Hall.

A day after Cumberland County Freeholder Lou Magazzu resigned, Vineland voters weighed in.

The 53 year old Democratic lawyer has admitted to sending nude pictures to a woman with whom he had an online relationship, but his attorney says they were intended solely for her.

Maguzzu's attorney says his client would not speak publicly, but in a written statement on Tuesday, Magazzu said, "I did not know that she was working with an avowed political enemy to distribute these pictures."

Some constituents don't buy the set-up story.

"It's always a set up," said Pamela Gordon. "When you're found out, it's always a set up."

"He's desperately looking for anything to use to get back, to lash out," Carl Johnson said.

Carl Johnson of Millville posted the photos and flat-out denies a set-up scenario.

He began his blog Magazzuwatch.com three years ago after a dispute with Magazzu over claims about property taxes.

Johnson says the woman first contacted him through his site early in the year asking for

information on the county elected official.

He says he was apprehensive at first, but felt as time went on she was a legitimate source.

"Anytime somebody contacts me anonymously I'm suspicious," said Johnson. "I thought it was a set-up."

He explains after additional communication she told Johnson about the photos.

"I woke up one morning and look at email," Johnson said. "There were 32 emails, forwards of emails from him to her including all the pictures."

His site got 100,000 unique hits on Tuesday, as opposed to the several hundred on a normal day.

Magazzu's attorney said he is exploring criminal and civil liability. Johnson doesn't believe they have a case.

"This is strictly a first amendment issue," said Johnson. "Nothing I posted was to my knowledge false."

Johnson says the woman who sent him the emails has no plans to come forward and be publicly identified.

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