The Republican candidate for Kanawha County assessor is accusing his Democrat opponent of stealing his campaign signs, and he claims to have video to prove it.
About 3:30 a.m. Monday, a truck bearing Sallie Robinson campaign signs stopped at a local business along MacCorkle Avenue in St. Albans, said Forest Carper, the Republican candidate for assessor.
Robinson, a 28-year employee of the Kanawha County Assessor's office and a Democrat, is running against Carper in the November general election.
Another employee at the assessor's office, Clyde A. Bare Jr., was driving the truck. Video provided by Carper shows Bare leaving the truck and walking in the direction of the guardrail where one of Carper's campaign signs was posted.
Although the camera does not show Bare taking the sign, it was missing early the next morning, Carper said.
"He took my sign," he said.
Bare, who is a field appraiser with the county office, could not be reached for comment.
However, Robinson denied that Bare, who supports her for the office, stole anything. Robinson spoke to Bare and he said he was the person who appears on the video.
However, Bare told Robinson he stopped to remove debris from his truck tire. When asked why Bare was in the area at that time of night, Robinson said she did not know.
"What Mr. Bare does on his private time is none of my business," she said.
Robinson is convinced Bare did not steal the sign. She reviewed the surveillance video, which Carper obtained from the business owner, and she pointed out that it does not show Bare taking the sign.
"He was out of the truck for like 30 seconds," she said.
Robinson says Bare removed a furring strip with a nail from his tire. A furring strip is a small piece of wood and metal used in construction to support a finished surface.
The video shows Bare throw the furring strip in the back of his truck, she said.
"I don't see where he had a sign in his hands," she said.
Caper said this is not the first of his signs to be stolen. He said 50 to 75 of the small paper signs have disappeared around the county, especially in the South Charleston area.
Carper believes Robinson is behind the theft of most of the signs.