By Cameron Rasmusson and Ben Olson
New revelations about Scott Rhodes, the person of interest in a racist propaganda campaign investigation, continue to pile up.
According to research by Southern Poverty Law Center, Rhodes was revealed to go by the alternative name Scott Platek and has records of residence in Eugene, Ore., and San Francisco, Rohnert Park and Los Angeles, Calif. Under the name Scott Platek, Rhodes had several federal and state liens lodged against him in California. Combined, the liens total over $24,000. SPLC found no evidence of a criminal record.
An anonymous caller to the Sandpoint Reader who identified as a relative of Rhodes said the name Platek is the surname of Rhodes’ adoptive family.
Rhodes broke his silence last week for the first time since the Sandpoint Reader broke the story of his investigation by police in both Sandpoint and Alexandria, Va. He told the Spokesman-Review the stories were hit pieces by local media and “extreme leftists” targeting him for his opposition to refugee resettlement.
“There has been an outrageous attempt by two small town papers to mislead readers to infer that I have something to do with actual crimes,” he wrote in an email to the Spokesman-Review. “Further, a single phone call to a public office holder, if truly made from my shared offices as alleged, is not a crime if the content was as they describe.”
Rhodes also told the Spokesman-Review he was considering a lawsuit against the Sandpoint Reader and the Bonner County Daily Bee.
Rhodes completed a Foreign Registration Statement with the Idaho Secretary of State in May, 2016 for an LLC named American Discovery Publishing. According to the Idaho Secretary of State, the business license was administratively canceled in Aug. 2017 for failure to file an annual report. Rhodes continues to occupy an office suite at a business complex on Division St. in Sandpoint.
Sandpoint police investigated Rhodes for his possible connection to the distribution of racist fliers, which has been ongoing in town for more than a year. He is also a person of interest in targeted campaigns against local Bonner County Human Rights Task Force members, journalists, business owners and politicians. He was banned last year from setting foot on Lake Pend Oreille School District property after dozens of CDs containing racist propaganda were placed on cars in the parking lot.
Rhodes is also under investigation in Alexandria, Va., following a series of harassing phone calls made to the city’s mayor and several council members.
“It’s an ongoing investigation and I’ve been advised not to comment any further,” said Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg when reached by the Reader. “The city of Alexandria is a city of kindness and compassion and we’re a city that’s not only tolerant but rather embracing and accepting where diversity is a value. We denounce bigotry and hatred in all forms. These are core values of our beloved historic city.”
“Bonner County residents, including the youth, have shown over and over that they will not tolerate racist, bigoted or anti-Semitic actions and materials,” wrote Bonner County Human Rights Task Force president Lynn Bridges in a prepared statement. “Not in our town, not in our state.”