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State Representative Cleared on Sign Destruction Charges

A Chandler lawmaker is off the hook on charges that he destroyed some political signs during last month’s primary. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

Rep. Bob Robson had been accused of working with someone else to tear down some little signs that had been placed next to his own. Those small signs had a big red arrow with the message “voted for Obamacare.” Sheriff’s deputies cited Robson for violating a section of the state election code dealing with destruction of political signs. But, Jerry Cobb, spokesman for the county attorney’s office, said it won’t be pursuing the charges.

“It specifically relates to removing, altering or defacing a — quote — ‘political sign of any candidate.’ And the sign in question was not a candidate sign. Nor was the guy who placed it there a candidate,” Cobb said.

Cobb said all that means is that whatever Robson might have done is legally irrelevant, as there would be no way to gain a conviction on those specific charges. Tom Ryan, Robson’s attorney, insisted his client would have beaten the charges had the case gone forward.

“Every bit of evidence of evidence you look at, the most you can say is there’s a white truck there and somebody does something. But that’s it. That’s not evidence of a crime. It’s not even close,” Ryan said.

The sheriff’s department did not respond to queries of whether it would refile new charges, ones that make no reference to political signs.

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