Tuesday, April 24, 2007

DA To Planet Glendora: No Charges v. Teen Girls

A piece of campaign propaganda by Glendora city council candidate John Harrold
Not that it was hard to predict, but the headline of Allison Hewitt's latest SGVT article announces that the DA won't file charges against the Glendoran girls accused of vandalism:

"The suspects contend that they requested the removal of the illegally posted signs ... with no results," Sato's memo said. The women's insistence that they tried to have the signs removed legally makes it difficult, if not impossible, to prove malice, the letter said.

Hmm. Sounds kinda similiar to what I said:

During an incident of outright campaign sign stealing during the recall a few years back...some teenagers involved on the other side of the political scene in Glendora were let go because, according to the police: "They didn't think they were doing anything illegal." Technically, that is not a valid legal excuse, of course, but in small matters like these such common sense often applies. In the most recent case of vandalism it is clear that the teenage girls involved thought that they were posting stickers on illegally placed signs.

Hewitt's article also reports:

Sato's report also noted that the campaign signs "may have been abandoned property," because city code allows the public works department to dispose of signs on public property. He adds that Glendora's municipal code also makes posting multiple signs on public property a misdemeanor, putting the City Council members on the wrong side of the law.

Ahem, toldyouso:

If the girls thought the signs didn't belong there in the first place, and the law is on their side, I can totally understand their justification for "vandalizing" them by putting a sticker on them pointing out they were illegally placed. Is it vandalism if someone puts a sign I don't want on my property (illegally) and I destroy the sign and take it down? If the property is public, don't we all own that property and is it only the city that has the right to take or throw things away? Doesn't the leaving of something on public property change things? For instance, is it the same thing as theft if someone takes something left in a public place?

There was no way that anyone outside of a certain faction on Planet Glendora was going to prosecute the girls. The Glendoran police department wants to appeal, which is fine, but off their home planet nothing is going to happen.

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