New York City hedge fund analyst Shashank Tripathi managed Republican Christopher Wright's campaign for the House of Representatives in New York until resigning yesterday (October 30).
Using his Twitter page @ComfortablySmug, Tripathi - who has been a vocal critic of US president Barack Obama on the site - posted a series of false updates about Hurricane Sandy on Monday as panic gripped the city.
All run with the header "BREAKING", his tweets made claims such as that the floor of the New York Stock Exchange had flooded, and power company Con Ed intended to cut off service to all of Manhattan.
The messages were widely retweeted and even picked up by some national media sources, helping to spread misinformation to New Yorkers at the worst possible time.
Buzzfeed's Jack Stuef exposed Tripathi's actions on Tuesday, and the analyst has apologised for the actions.
"I wish to offer the people of New York a sincere, humble and unconditional apology," he tweeted.
"While some would use the anonymity and instant feedback of social media as an excuse, I take full responsibility for my actions. I deeply regret any distress or harm they may have caused."
Tripathi confirmed that he had resigned from the Congressional campaign of Christopher Wright, but expressed his hope that the voters of New York would view the candidate "based on his merits alone, rather than my actions in the last 24 hours".
Twitter itself created a special "#Sandy" event page this week to serve information to visitors from public agencies on the natural disaster. Event pages are typically reserved for the Olympics or other big sporting events.
The page displayed manually- and algorithmically-selected tweets taken from official accounts, such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's and that of Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.
But while this initiative was widely welcomed, the distribution of misleading information on the site has led some to suggest that more should be done to stop the opportunistic fakers on sites like Twitter.
On Tuesday, New York City Councilman Peter F Vallone Jr appeared to threaten Tripathi with prosecution for his messages.
He tweeted that he hoped Tripathi was "less smug and comfortable cuz I'm talking to Cy", thought to be referring to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
Twitter said that it would not suspend the account unless there was a request from a law enforcement agency.
"We don't moderate content, and we certainly don't want to be in a position of deciding what speech is OK and what speech is not," said a Twitter spokeswoman.