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D.A. may charge man accused of destroying campaign signs

Pieces of recently destroyed campaign signs in support of Measure V and other candidates in the truck of Robert Dickson, a Costa Mesa planning commissioner. Credit: Robert Dickson

The Orange County district attorney's office is considering misdemeanor charges against a Costa Mesa city employee accused of destroying political campaign signs, officials confirmed Wednesday.

The 33-year-old man is also a Costa Mesa resident. Approached at his residence Monday evening, the man declined to speak with a reporter. His name is being withheld by the Daily Pilot because he has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

D.A. spokeswoman Farrah Emami said her office received the case Tuesday, but it is still being reviewed.

Costa Mesa police received a report of someone destroying campaign signs near Fair and Columbia drives about 9:10 p.m. Saturday. The damaged signs were in support of Measure V, the proposed city charter, as well as the "3M" candidates, Councilmen Steve Mensinger and Gary Monahan and Planning Commissioner Colin McCarthy.

When police arrived, they were informed of the incident by a private investigator working for a councilman.

On Sunday, the Costa Mesa Taxpayers Assn. posted a video of a man tearing and vandalizing signs. They also offered a reward — which is now up to $1,000 — for information that confirms his identity.

CMTA President Jim Fitzpatrick said the area of contention along Fair Drive has had more 100 "3M" and "Yes on Measure V" signs "maliciously destroyed" in the last two weekends.

City CEO Tom Hatch said Monday that the city is conducting a "confidential personnel/administrative investigation," but did not further clarify the statement.

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-- Lauren Williams and Bradley Zint, Times Community News

Photo: Pieces of recently destroyed campaign signs in support of Measure V and other candidates in the truck of Robert Dickson, a Costa Mesa planning commissioner. Credit: Robert Dickson

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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