Sheriff Caught Falsifying Headlines In Sham Campaign

( – Philadelphia Sheriff, Rochelle Bilal, finds herself in a serious controversy after revelations of doctoring headlines on her campaign website to falsely paint a positive picture of her first term in office, according to a Monday February 5, report by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Inquirer’s investigation exposed Bilal’s dissemination of fake headlines, which she attributed to reputable outlets like WHYY, CBS3, the Inquirer, and NBC10. However, these headlines, while not true, contrasted with the corruption scandals that plagued her first spell in office.

Bilal has been accused of using taxpayer funds to inflate her salary, and her office has come under scrutiny over lost firearms and questionable financial transactions. Despite these controversies, visitors to Bilal’s campaign website were met with “over-hyped” yet fabricated headlines showcasing her seemingly “great achievements.”

Among the trumped-up achievements were claims of distribution of bulletproof vests, breaking up “massive” drug operations, spearheading mental health initiatives, and arrests of suspects.

However, the Inquirer’s investigation found no record of such claims at the outlets Bilal cited. According to NBC10 spokesperson Diana Torralvo, while they did cover a story similar to one on Bilal’s website, it occurred in 2016, before Bilal resumed her Sheriff’s office.

When questioned about the misleading headlines, Bilal reportedly removed them from her website. Her campaign manager, Teresa Lundy, pleaded ignorance, claiming she had no knowledge of the fabricated headlines.

Meanwhile, On February 2, her campaign issued a disclaimer acknowledging the inaccuracies, stating that while they strive for accurate information, they offer no guarantees.

Subsequently, the campaign admitted the possibility of using an AI chatbot to generate the headlines. They claimed the campaign provided talking points to an outside consultant, who then fed them to the AI service. The service, they claimed, generated fake news articles to support the talking points.

Further complicating the controversies, one of Bilal’s deputies became embroiled in an FBI investigation into gun trafficking, while her second-in-command faced fines from the Philadelphia Board of Ethics for engaging in outside employment as a defense attorney.

The Office of the Sheriff for the City and County of Philadelphia’s website describes Rochelle Bilal as the first black woman elected as Sheriff in Philadelphia. She assumed office in 2020 and secured re-election in 2023. However, despite the historic feat, her career has been marred by scandals.

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