Political signs vandalized

Political signs belonging to several candidates were torn down at Fifth and Division streets overnight Friday, while another candidate had signs at other locations destroyed, the latest of several incidents of vandalism of election signs.

The damaged signs belong to Mayor Ray Masayko, Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, Justice of the Peace Robey Willis, supervisor candidate Richard Staub and supervisor candidate Frank Sharp.

Parnell said she received a telephone call early Saturday telling her about the damage at Fifth and Division.

"By the time I got there, Richard Staub had already put his sign and Robey's back up," Parnell said. "I kind of fixed one of the mayor's, but one of his was totally destroyed. One of mine also was destroyed, but the other one I got back up."

Parnell said she reported Saturday's incident to the sheriff's department, as she has about three other incidents of destroyed signs from her campaign. She also knows of several other incidents of her signs being damaged or removed that she has not reported, she said.

Sharp said three of his signs, worth about $150, were torn down on Long Street, on Highway 50 East near Scolari's and by Fairview Drive.

Sharp said Saturday evening that he is withdrawing his offer of a $250 reward for the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for destroying his sign on Silver Sage Drive in July, which was at the time the fourth incident of one of his campaign signs being damaged. Sharp had also extended the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone caught vandalizing anybody else's political signs.

"I didn't get any response from the reward and it didn't do any good to report it to the sheriff," Sharp said.

"The thing is, you couldn't destroy everything that was destroyed last night and not have anyone see it. The Scolari's lot is lighted and there's lots of traffic. It's just apathy but, by people not getting involved, the kids or whoever will keeping getting away with it and eventually they'll do something that's a felony."

"We candidates know that people do get awfully tired of the number of signs during the campaigns," Parnell said. "But it's part of the election process. I'm a history and government teacher and it bothers me to see an attack on what is part of the historic process of elections.

"We're all trying to do what's right and help the people of Carson City through the election process."

Besides risking prosecution for vandalism, Parnell said, people who remove or damage the signs may also violate other laws such as trespassing by going onto private property where signs are displayed.

Sharp said he had spoken Saturday with Masayko about whether any city ordinance prohibits vandalism of campaign signs, but the mayor was uncertain.


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