This cache of 69 signs collected as evidence by the CPD was to be released Tuesday.
COVINGTON -- The Covington Police Department has released a video tape detailing much of the evidence they have against former mayoral candidate Bobby Sigman and his alleged involvement in the theft of his opponent's campaign signs.
CPD Public Information Officer Ken Malcom said the release of the tape was an effort to "better inform our citizens" concerning the evidence that brought about the arrest of Sigman last week.
Sigman had earlier claimed that his arrest was the result of evidence "planted" by police and stated, "I have not stolen no signs whatsoever. This is just nothing but politically motivated all the way."
At a press conference attended by television and newspaper media Tuesday morning, Malcom said, "Politics or not, a theft occurred and we did our duty and investigated it."
The tape reveals Sigman meeting an unidentified man at a Washington Street service station. The man, who was wearing a police video and audio device, got into Sigman's vehicle and directed him to a wooded area where approximately 50 Ronnie Johnston campaign signs were stashed.
Sigman shows no surprise that the individual had collected the signs, but instead pointed out a Johnston sign they passed en route, telling the man, "There's a dollar you missed."
Sigman did express amazement that the individual was able to collect so many signs while walking. Both Sigman and the informant agreed there was still much work to do in picking up more signs.
Once at the site where the signs were piled, Sigman and the man load the trunk of Sigman's vehicle with the signs and the man directs Sigman where to take him. When it comes time to pay the individual for the signs, Sigman offers him a $50 bill, but the man argues with him, saying Sigman had promised him $2 per sign. Sigman tells him he only agreed to pay $1.
"It's obvious there was a deal and you can hear the negotiations," Malcom said. "If an arrest had not taken place, we believe the sign thefts would have continued."
Malcom said the CPD investigation into this incident before Sigman's arrest actually lasted only a day. A citizen reported someone stealing her Johnston sign out of her yard and the police were able to locate that person and gain information that led them to Sigman.
"We have some individuals who are cooperating and they have not been charged," Malcom said.
Malcom said 69 signs have been recovered so far and that 12 victims have come forward to say they had a sign taken. Potentially, each sign could be used as a count of theft by taking, but Malcom said the District Attorney's Office would make that decision. Presently Sigman is charged with one count each of making false statements within a political subdivision, theft by taking and criminal trespass, all misdemeanors. More charges could follow.
Malcom said the CPD has received no complaints of stolen signs since Sigman's arrest.