Founder of YubaNet arrested on felony false impersonation charge
October 10, 2013
The founder of local Internet news site YubaNet was arrested after a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon and must remain in county jail on an immigration hold.
Pascale Fusshoeller reportedly has never had a California driver's license and provided a false identity during the traffic stop, said California Highway Patrol Officer Greg Tassone.
Fusshoeller was pulled over for running a stop sign at North Bloomfield and Lake Vera Purdon roads while driving about 15 mph, at about 4:15 p.m., Tassone said.
"She did not have a driver's license or any ID on her," he said. "She verbally identified herself and provided detailed information."
But as the officer began the verification process — which can include a check of the license and the physical description of the driver — the officer felt it was "not adding up," Tassone said.
The information provided was for a real person but it was not Fusshoeller, he said.
According to Tassone, Fusshoeller does not have a current driver's license and has never had one in California.
YubaNet started in 1999 as a free online publication for the wider Sierra Nevada region and quickly became known for its up-to-the-minute reporting on fire news.
"In addition to original news stories and our famous fire news, YubaNet opened its pages to a wide array of well-respected newsmakers — from local to global," its website reads.
"As such, YubaNet has been writing, gathering and sharing the best in independent journalism, from day one. We promoted 'citizen journalism' before the concept was coined, inviting readers to help create the content on YubaNet."
Writer Carolyn Crane called Fusshoeller, YubaNet's primary contributer, a "walking encyclopedia of this county," adding, "she has singlehandedly changed a lot of things about reporting (here). She's done a lot of good. She cares more about this place than a lot of people do."
Fusshoeller was booked into Wayne Brown Correctional Facility on suspicion of false impersonation of another, which is a felony, as well as misdemeanor charges of giving false information to a peace officer, obstruction and driving without a license.
She was not arraigned Wednesday, and Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Anna Ferguson said she had not yet seen the file as of Wednesday afternoon.
According to jail staff, Fusshoeller has an immigration hold, which would prevent her from bailing out of jail. More information was not available as of press time.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.