After his name showed up on a list of purported Ku Klux Klan members released by the hacktivist group Anonymous, the mayor of a Kentucky city strongly denied Monday any connection to the hate group. Jim Gray, who was elected mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, in 2011, appeared on the list alongside several U.S. politicians amid Anonymous’ effort to out members and shut down the infamous white supremacy organization.
“This allegation is false, insulting and ridiculous,” Gray told the NBC affiliate WLEX-TV. “I have never had any relationship of any kind with the KKK,” he added. “I am opposed to everything it stands for. I have no idea where this information came from; but wherever it came from, it is wrong."
— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowWLEX) November 2, 2015
Gray, a 62-year-old Democrat, has been in politics since the age of 19. He is in his second mayoral term and has also served as vice mayor of Lexington. In 2005, he publicly came out as gay ahead of his first bid for mayor, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Allegations of a connection to the KKK appeared to be completely new for the Kentucky official. Gray's name, along with other politicians, appeared in a video previewing what Anonymous planned to release.
Anonymous began publishing the personal details of alleged KKK members over the weekend, as part of a cyber war against the white supremacist group and police departments involved in the shootings of unarmed citizens. The online activist group said last week that it had the identities of 1,000 KKK members, which it obtained through a compromised Twitter account associated with the hate group.
Anonymous gave a preview of what they intended to release Sunday and Monday through a text-sharing site known as Pastebin, according to the Hill newspaper. The documents -- including several dozen emails, social security information and phone numbers -- had not been verified or confirmed Monday by the KKK group.
“Today we have shut down servers, gotten personal information on members of the KKK and infiltrated your Twitters and websites,” Anonymous said in a press release Sunday, according to the Hill’s report. “And this is just the beginning,” the statement continued. “On November the 4th, we will be having a Twitter storm, spreading awareness about the operation. And on the 5th, we shall release more than 1000 Ku Klux Klan members names and websites, new and old.”