Sheriff candidate lodges complaint over sign destruction
Sheriff’s candidate Bob White filed a destruction of property complaint with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, alleging two men working for his opponent Bob Guimont intimidated a business owner and tore down White’s campaign sign.
Guimont said Friday the report was “utterly unfounded.”
In the April 12 report, White stated he met with Gilberto Gonzalez at his business, Dos Amigos, on March 26 and noticed his campaign sign was missing.
White said that when he asked Gonzalez about it, Gonzalez told him a former Carson City deputy and an off-duty Nevada Highway Patrol trooper came by the previous weekend with Guimont campaign fliers.
Gonzalez allegedly said the two men were “very intimidating, telling Gilbert(o) to remove (White’s) campaign sign,” the report states.
Gonzalez allegedly refused to do so, and told the men if they wanted it removed, to remove it themselves, “at which time they removed the sign and cut it up and threw it in the trash,” according to the report.
White said when he learned of the incident, he immediately called Guimont and then handed the phone to Gonzalez, and Gonzalez allegedly related the same story to Guimont.
White went on to state that Gonzalez was reluctant to fill out a written statement “due to ongoing harassment and intimidation from the individuals.”
Carson City Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ray Saylo said the report was forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office for review.
Assistant District Attorney Gerald Gardner said his office opted out of handling the report because they work with all parties involved.
White and Guimont, both employees of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, are challenging current Sheriff Ken Furlong for his spot in the June primary.
Reached at his business Friday, Gilberto Gonzalez declined to say whether he saw anyone destroy a White campaign sign.
“I have no comment,” he said. “I told (White) when he came over here and talked to me, ‘I don’t want to deal with you or Bob Guimont anymore.’ I told him, ‘You guys do this someplace else.'”
Guimont said he feels as if White was the one intimidating Gonzalez, and while he did have a discussion with Gonzalez concerning the sign, it was while White was in the restaurant, suggesting he was having undue influence on the business owner.
“As far as I’m concerned, the business owner was intimidated by this man who was upset with the fact that his political signs were missing,” said Guimont. “This is the garbage in politics when people feel they are being mistreated. Nobody in my campaign has gone after him maliciously. It’s insane to think that two members of my campaign would walk into a business, cut up his sign and throw it in the trash in front of people.”
Guimont went on to question the department’s handling of the incident. He said he only learned of the report from comments co-workers made when he arrived at work and he had to look it up in the computer system himself to see what it was about.
“I read it and I’m wondering why no one has interviewed me or the other people involved,” he said.
White said he reported the incident because it was the only time anyone witnessed a sign being damaged. He said he’s had about a dozen signs stolen or destroyed in the past few months.
Both men said they sympathized with Gonzalez’s position.
“I feel bad for him because he doesn’t want to be involved because of the intimidation that he gets from those people. It’s sad that a business owner can’t express their political views in this town,” said White.
“I feel bad for Gilberto,” said Guimont. “I said to him, “Listen, Gilberto, I apologize for any inconvenience.”
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