CONNEAUT — A number of yard signs have been stolen, and a billboard has been vandalized in Conneaut, as part of the race for Conneaut Municipal Judge.
The “majority” of County Prosecutor Nick Iarocci’s signs were stolen early in the morning last Friday, Iarocci said.
A billboard was also vandalized, Iarocci said.
The Conneaut Police Department is investigating the issue, Police Chief Michael Colby said.
There is video evidence of a sign theft as well as the vandalization of the billboard. The video footage from the theft has been sent off to be enhanced, in hopes of getting a front license plate number, Colby said.
There were two people in a van shown on the video.
There is currently no time frame for when the department will receive the enhanced video, Colby said.
“It’s very childish, and we’re investigating it just like we would anything else,” Colby said.
The vandalized billboard has been replaced, Iarocci said.
“First of all, there’s no place for that conduct in a judicial election, or any election for that matter. Second, given the personal nature of the vandalism on the billboard, I doubt it’s at all election-related. It likely has to do with his job as county prosecutor,” said current Conneaut Municipal Judge Carl DiFranco, who is running against Iarocci.
“People often forget that you make enemies as a judge or a prosecutor.”
DiFranco also had some of his signs vandalized earlier this year.
“Mine, I don’t think was election-related either. It was likely someone that was mad about an experience in court,” DiFranco said. “It’s unfortunate, for sure.”
Iarocci currently serves as the Ashtabula County Prosecutor, and has announced that he will not seek reelection as the prosecutor if he is not elected Conneaut Municipal Judge.
“I trust the Conneaut Police Department is doing its best to locate the persons responsible. In the meantime, our Committee has ordered more signs to attempt to replace some of the ones stolen,” Iarocci said in a statement.