Fullerton Candidate Suspends Campaign After Alleged Sign theft

Take it from us, having covered numerous campaign sign thefts over the years: it isn’t worth it.

A candidate for Fullerton city council has suspended her campaign after she was allegedly caught on camera stealing multiple campaign signs labeling her a “carpetbagger."

Paulette Chaffee, the wife of Fullerton mayor Doug Chaffee, made the announcement after she said personal attacks have taken a toll on her after video was posted online purporting to show her stealing negative campaign signs about her.

The signs had been purchased by local businessman and activist Tony Bushala, who has long clashed with city leaders in Fullerton. He said he paid $1,000 for the signs and immediately recognized Chaffee as the culprit when he saw surveillance video of one of the incidents outside his office.

“She gets out of the car, she pulls the sign up out of the ground, puts it in her trunk, and off she goes,” Bushala told Fox 11. “One hundred percent that’s Paulette on video stealing my sign, I was very upset, that the wife of the mayor of Fullerton would steal from a person that was just expressing their freedom of speech.” He claims she stole more than 180 signs in three days.

Videos of the incidents are available here and here.

Bushala has filed a police report. Fullerton PD has handed the case over to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to avoid allegations of a conflict of interest, as Bushala has cited ties between police and city leaders.

Paulette Chaffee is one of five candidates running for Fullerton’s District 5 council seat in the November election.