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Sigman gets probation in campaign sign theft case

COVINGTON -- Former mayoral candidate Bobby Sigman was sentenced to seven years probation and ordered to pay $2,000 in fines on charges stemming from his arrest for stealing campaign signs during campaign season last fall.

The sentence, handed down in Newton County Superior Court on Thursday, was part of a negotiated plea deal. Sigman pleaded guilty to making false statements in a matter within a political subdivision, a felony, and to two counts of misdemeanor theft by taking.

"As part of the negotiated plea he is not permitted to run for or hold elected or appointed office while under sentence," said Senior Assistant District Attorney Melanie Bell.

Sigman is being treated as a first offender, meaning that if he completes his sentence successfully, he will not be a convicted felon. He received first offender status because he has no prior felonies and because he pleaded guilty at his arraignment, Bell said. Sigman issued an apology following his sentencing, she said.

Reached via phone on Friday, Sigman said, "I'm sorry it happened and I'm glad it's over with. I told the judge I apologized to the court and to Mr. Johnston and the people of Covington. I just want to move ahead and get it behind me so my family and I can maybe live peaceful the rest of our lives ... It was just a bad, unfortunate mistake. I made a bad judgment. I got caught in a trap and didn't know what to do. I didn't do anybody any bodily harm. I did myself more harm than anybody. I'm just so grateful my family stood by me and my friends stood by me. It's a dead issue now. It's over with, it's in the past, and I'd already made up my mind never to run for political office again, so I'm through. After all the good things I've done, and I think I've done some good, it's unfortunate I had to mess it up at the end. "

Sigman was arrested in October 2011 for allegedly stealing campaign signs of his opponent, current Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston. Initially, Sigman denied the charges against him and accused police of planting the evidence.

A few days later, Covington Police released an undercover video showing 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 showed 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."

When it came time to pay the individual for the signs, Sigman offered him a $50 bill, but the man argued with him, saying Sigman had promised him $2 per sign. Sigman told him he only agreed to pay $1.

Following the release of the video, Sigman announced he would drop out of the mayor's race but several days later, he retracted that statement. Johnston beat Sigman in the November election by 1,032 votes to Sigman's 282.

Comments

HonestAbe 2 years, 6 months ago

Bobby what you did was wrong but you manned up and took your punishment. Good for you. Hold your head high and remember the almost 70 years that you did right. You maybe the first that got caught taking signs but many of us know this has been going on for many, many, years. I hope this is just the start of trying to catch political candidates and elected officials breaking the law- and where did the passport fees go mrs clerk of courts?

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Billy 2 years, 6 months ago

Glad he didn't get elected. If you are faithless in small things you will be the same in big things. Not going to waste time telling people where the above quote comes from. If you don't already know, you probably voted for this person. A good name is to be choosen above great riches. There's another quote for the "unaffilated" crowd to consider. If this joke of a person had to steal signs to get elected, he wasn't worthy of the office to begin with. Seems like all the people who go out of their way to support him would know this. I wonder if he robbed a bank after 70 years of otherwise "honest" behavior if that would be all right. We have such low standards today that people will actually defend this person. If you're trying to convince anyone of substance of what a wonderful man this is, you're wasting your time. There's too many like him in office already. That's the problem to begin with. Forgive him on a personal level? Sure, why not. Elect him? No way, never...

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Covingtonian 2 years, 6 months ago

Honest Abe just one question, what law was broken by the county clerk? Think carefully before answering.

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HonestAbe 2 years, 6 months ago

You need to read again. I said nothing about her breaking a law. I simply asked where the money went. The taxpayers and citizen deserve an answer as she ia a elected official. You are the one who needs to think carefully. Now you asked me a question and i answered it. I hope the citizen will allowed this to be posted as you asked me a direct question about something i did not say.

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AmazedByStupidity 2 years, 6 months ago

Not that this is the proper story to address this point, but when one gets a passport, new or renewed, the fees payable to the clerk of court have to be paid in cash. But then, they do give you a hand written receipt. Who is to say where that money goes, or how it is accounted for, when it is not run through the regular clerk of court books? Look at this...there is your answer.

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HonestAbe 2 years, 6 months ago

Maybe there is a trail to Washington or wherever the passport charges are sent and then back through the IRS. Worth investigating if she's not going to disclose.

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