Local News

Roanoke Rapids Official Charged With Removing Campaign Signs

Posted October 14, 2003 9:11 a.m. EDT

— Elections for the board that makes decisions about city water do not usually get heated, but that is not the case in Roanoke Rapids.

Campaign signs in the already heated race disappeared, and a surprising arrest has some people steamed.

With just a few weeks before elections, the race for Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District is getting interesting. Four challengers are trying to uproot two incumbents.

Jay Baker is a member of the local business alliance leading the challenge. Last week, he said campaign signs for two candidates he supports disappeared from the street corner in front of the Sanitary District building.

"I figured I'd go ahead an set up a camera and see if I could catch who was doing it," Baker said.

Just a few hours after the signs were replaced, the camera caught Dan Brown, the Sanitary District's CEO, removing them.

"It was just shock and disbelief that he would do something like that," Baker said.

Baker took his tape to police. Brown was arrested and charged with misdemeanor larceny for removing signs from public property.

Brown told a local newspaper he removed signs the signs because he did not want people thinking the district supports certain candidates. He said he was instructed by his attorney not to talk about the case.

The candidates whose signs came down are not saying much about the incident, either.

"I'm just trying to stay focused on my campaign for the Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District," candidate Stan Dalton said.

"I'm putting my signs back up and just going on with a clean campaign," candidate Dwight King said.

On Nov. 4, voters will decide who will fill the board.

For now, Brown, who is not an elected official, remains in charge. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 7.