Elderly NJ Man Charged With Stealing Campaign Sign
Another case of political sign theft in New Jersey, this time in Edison.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced Rajendra Joshi, 71, has been charged with theft by unlawful taking which is a disorderly person's offense.
Joshi is the uncle of Edison Council Vice President Sam Joshi, who is running for mayor against Republican Keith Hahn.
The elder Joshi is accused of removing a sign supporting Hahn on the lawn of an Edison resident without her permission to do so.
In a Facebook post, councilman Joshi blames his opponent for blowing a "minor misunderstanding" out of proportion. He also called it a "phantom incident," and asked residents for "thoughts and prayers" for his uncle "who has had an honest mistake magnified into a major legal inconvenience."
It is so disheartening that with all the serious issues facing Edison Township, my opponent chose to make this minor misunderstanding involving my 71year-old uncle, a volunteer with my campaign, into a manufactured hysteria. My opponents recklessness with Township resources in this one phantom incident, only demonstrates how he would undermine the best interests of our taxpayers. - Edison Mayoral Candidate Sam Joshi
This mayoral race has been particularly nasty, even by New Jersey standards.
The issue of sign stealing has made headlines in Middlesex County as election day approaches. A Monroe Township council candidate was charged with stealing his opponents campaign signs earlier this month.
It is illegal to take down campaign signs, even on public property, under state law.
The theft of a campaign sign is punishable by up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000, as a disorderly person offense, according to police cited by NJ.com on the seasonal occurrence.