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Maryland official faces charges over theft of campaign signs

The Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Industry, J. Ronald DeJuliis and two campaign volunteers are facing misdemeanor charges of theft under $1,000 for their part in an alleged theft of campaign signs that were placed on private property near a busy intersection. The charges stem from an incident that occurred on May 10 when the three men allegedly disassembled and removed the signs of an opponent who is running against the wife of DeJuliis.

According to authorities, the campaign manager of the opposing candidate and DeJuiss began having a heated discussion after the campaign manager arrived at the scene and discovered that the men were dismantling the 4-by-8-foot signs with a drill and placing them in the bed of a pick-up truck. The campaign manager then called 911 to report that the three men were removing the signs.

Although DeJuiss allegedly admitted that he had removed the signs, he told responding Baltimore County police officers that he had taken down the signs because he believed there had been a misunderstanding due to the fact that the owner of the property had reportedly told his wife that she could place her signs on the land. DeJuiss then indicated that he thought the opposing signs had been placed there without the owner's permission.

While DeJuiss has been the only one charged so far with the misdemeanor, the campaign manager for the opposing candidate stated on Saturday that the signs were worth $100 each and that he planned to have the two volunteers charged with the misdemeanor as well.

An experienced Maryland attorney can work with a defendant to help possibly get a dismissal on this type of charge. An attorney can also potentially obtain a reduction in fines and jail time.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Top state official accused of stealing state senator's campaign signs" Carrie Wells, May. 12, 2014

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