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Someone impersonates mayor and calls State of Emergency

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The City of Salem Police Department is looking into a case of impersonation of the mayor.

Last week during the snow and ice storm, news station WDRB reported that Mayor David Bower had declared a State of Emergency.

“That is not something I can do,” said Bower. “I do not have the authority to declare a State of Emergency.”

He said Sherriff Claude Combs called him and asked if he had made the call and Bower assured him that he had not.

“I don’t think people realize how serious a State of Emergency is,” he said. “When a true State of Emergency is called, people close businesses and stay off the road.”

Fire Chief Tom Day said only emergency vehicles and law enforcement are allowed to be on the roads during a State of Emergency. “It’s to help keep people off the roads and out of the way of emergency personnel, as well as to prevent more accidents to have to respond to.”

Police Chief Troy Merry added that it’s against the law to impersonate an elected official and this person could face charges.

When asked if he thought the call was politically motivated, Bower said he hoped it wouldn’t be, but “you never know.”