Candidate in Harrisburg mayor's race charged with defacing campaign signs

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | May 20, 2013 12:18 PM
Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico.jpg

Photo by Craig Layne/witf

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico announces charges against Harrisburg mayoral candidate Lewis Butts, Jr.

(Harrisburg) -- On the eve of the primary election, a candidate in the race for Harrisburg mayor has admitted to defacing the campaign signs of one of his rivals.

Lewis L. Butts, Jr. has been charged with criminal mischief and criminal conspiracy.

He confessed to investigators that he defaced seven campaign signs from fellow Democrat Eric Papenfuse's campaign, on or about May 11 or 12.

Butts says spray painting the signs was retaliation for Papenfuse campaign workers' actions.

"The Papenfuse team would pick up my signs and put down theirs," Butts says. "I have a hundred signs, they have probably close to a thousand signs," he says.

No charges have been filed in relation to Butts' accusations, and he says he intends to stay in the four-way race.

Papenfuse's campaign spokeswoman says the candidate is focused on last-minute get-out-the vote activities.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico handled the case to avoid any possible conflict of interest between the candidates and Harrisburg Police.

"To have a mayoral candidate himself involved in targeting another candidate's signs, that's pretty big," Marsico says.

The district attorney says he expects Butts to be fined for his actions.

Published in Harrisburg, News

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