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Phony Twitter accounts of mayor and police chief blast bar closing ordinance

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Opponents of Charleston’s proposed midnight bar closing are taking to social media and forming phony accounts to blast the idea.

One of the accounts is Sleepy Mayor Joe, mocking Mayor Joe Riley.

The other is a parody of Police Chief Greg Mullen.

"Mayor Riley pulled a fast one. The chief of police pulled a fast one and this thing went through and now it's blowing up,” said Chris Haire, editor of the Charleston City Paper.

It was the mayor and police chief who are the forces behind the proposed ordinance that would force bars to close at midnight in certain parts of downtown Charleston.

People are posting sarcastic comments on the two phony Twitter pages to try to get their message out.

The City Paper also is getting on board by stuffing fliers inside next week's edition.

"I think people are outraged. They want to express their outrage, but also they want to drum up more support. They want to get people more and more outraged,” Haire said.

Some of the hashtags such as #Joehibition, also are getting a lot of attention.

The guy who came up with it is Christian Senger, known as the Holy City Sinner on Twitter.

“The entertainment district overlay, whatever it may be. It was just too long, so I was just trying to goof around and try to find something that was a little bit easier, quick to remember and try to be a little funny at the same time,” said Senger.

Others also are targeting a legitimate hashtag #chsyou, that apparently was started to allow folks to tweet why they love Charleston.

Instead some are using it to blast the bar closing ordinance.

Then there's a Facebook page that shows a drawing of Mayor Riley on top of the Francis Marion Hotel that says ‘Go to bed.’

But will all this opposition on social media sway city council members to change their minds?

Haire says don't bet on it.

"I think the ordinance is a done deal. I think it always was a done deal. I think it's a shame."

We reached out to Mayor Riley and Chief Mullen for a comment.

Mullen sent us a statement, It said in part, “If a few people, maybe a hundred of them, maybe more, if they want to spend their time doing that on Twitter and they feel like that would be a fun thing for them to do, then I’m happy for them.”

The bar closing ordinance needs two more readings before it becomes law.

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