Poway City Council Member's Daughter Accused of Stealing Campaign Signs of Opponent

Places for candidates to put their political signs is at a premium in Poway due to city restrictions

In Poway, the daughter of a City Council candidate is under investigation, accused of stealing the campaign signs of her father's opponent.

“It’s dirty,” Poway City Council candidate Joe Calabrese said. “I didn’t think people stole signs. I thought people had respect for property.”

When Calabrese noticed his signs were vanishing, along with those of two other candidates, he said he decided to do some detective work on his own. 

Calabrese said when he pulled up to the Jersey Mike's on Pomerado and Twin Peaks roads earlier this week, he saw the suspects stealing his campaign sign and confronted them.

“I said 'this sign is okay, it's in compliance'," he said. "Halfway through the sentence and I'm thinking 'why am I explaining to crooks?' Give me sign back."

Calabrese told NBC 7 that he was surprised to find one of the two women suspected of stealing the signs, was the daughter of current Councilman Barry Leonard, his opponent in the race.

He snapped a picture of the two women and then notified the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO)--who are now investigating the theft of five signs from three different candidates.

Meanwhile, Councilman Leonard issued the following statement regarding his daughter:

"Unfortunately, her passionate support for my council candidacy got the better of her judgment. Under no circumstances would I condone such behavior. I love my daughter as much as any father can, but my daughter's actions were wrong and she will need to face whatever the appropriate consequences are."

But Calabrese said he's disappointed in the current councilman and called for him to drop out of the race.

“I don’t think that’s the type of people we want representing the City of Poway,” Calabrese said.

The City of Poway said SDSO are investigating and will turn the findings over to the City Attorney’s office. Investigators did say that some of the signs may have been improperly placed.

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