Utah mayor used alias to double as news reporter

November 11, 2011 - 4:00 PM
Mayors Fake Persona

This image provided by the West Valley City, Utah website shows Mayor Mike Winder Aug. 26, 2010 in Utah. West Valley City mayor Winder admitted recently to creating a false persona, Richard Burwash, and wrote more than a dozen stories for area publications promoting his city. (AP Photo/West Valley City)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The mayor of Utah's second-largest city is acknowledging he used a fake name to write freelance stories for Utah news outlets because he says the municipality needed more "good news."

West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder quoted himself in some of the stories he wrote for the Deseret News, KSL-TV's website and a community weekly.

Winder tells The Associated Press his career as a news reporter using the name Richard Burwash lasted several months until he decided to come clean this week. He says getting stories published was as easy as setting up a Gmail account and Facebook page under the alias.

Winder says he wanted to offer balance to what he saw as bad news coverage of his city. He complains that the media devotes too much time to covering crime.