3rd Circuit Court of Appeal Judge’s Candidate Has Signs Vandalized
There are two candidates for judge on the Court of Appeal for the 3rd District for Section 2D. One of the candidates running for the job is current 15th Judicial District Judge Valerie Gotch Garrett.
While we are only days away from the election, unfortunately, someone has decided to become involved in the race by vandalizing several signs of Judge Garrett.
A listener let us know they saw two signs on Moss street featuring Judge Garrett's candidacy that had been defaced. We later found out that a third had the same orange painted "x" across the sign.
When KPEL asked Judge Garrett about the situation, she said she was aware this has happened, and she has filed a complaint with the Lafayette Police Department. She gave KPEL the following statement,
As we approach Election Day, we have worked hard to run a campaign focused on qualifications. To have signs destroyed in these final days is petty and beneath any candidate or campaign. I would encourage all candidates to have their supporters focus on why voters should support their choice and not engage in childish behavior like sign defamation. It's criminal. It's wrong, and we need to do better.
We all know how passionate elections in Louisiana can become, but defacing someone else's property is against the law.
Judge Garrett did file a complaint with the Lafayette Police Department this week. According to Sergeant Robin Green with the Lafayette Police Department, the person responsible for defacing the signs would face a charge of Simple Criminal Damage to Property.
According to the Judge's complaint, she found one sign was damaged with the giant "x" in orange paint on a sign near the intersection of Moss Street and Gloria Switch Road.
It is not like this is the first time during this election cycle that someone has vandalized a sign. KLFY reported that several candidates had their signs defaced in Grand Coteau.
Is It Illegal to Destroy or Deface Campaign Signs?
Yes, it is illegal to deface or destroy a candidate's political signs. You can face a fine, the costs of replacing the items, and the possibility of six months in jail.
While we know of no video surveillance of the vandalism of these signs at this time if you do have any information you can contact the Lafayette Police Department at 337-291-8600.