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Campaign signs stolen, Commissioners race getting ugly

BOONE COUNTY, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- It's not unusual for accusations to fly back and forth during a political campaign but the police usually don't get involved.
A Boone County Commissioner has accused his challenger of stealing his campaign signs and, he's filed a report with the Sheriff's Office.  The people who let candidates plant campaign signs in their yards do it to show support.  It's casual political involvement but in this case in Boone County, it got them in the middle of a nasty campaign.

Campaign signs are at every intersection and on every busy street every campaign season.  Boone County Commission challenger, Phyllis Sparks, shares some space on US-42 with her opponent, Charlie Kenner.  But not in a certain yard.  This is where the campaign got ugly a couple of weeks ago.

Charlie Kenner said, "I got a report on derby afternoon, that Saturday, that Phyllis was out there taking yard signs.  Five campaign signs out a yard on Mt. Zion Road and one of them was mine."

A neighbor said it was Phyllis Sparks, driving an SUV with her campaign signs on it.  So Kenner contacted the Boone County Sheriff who contacted Sparks.  In their report, Sparks tells the deputy she had the property owner's permission to put up her signs and take down the others.  She didn't.

"It's crossed the line.  Miss Sparks has been campaigning for a long time and she knows the rules.  She's a Boone County Vice Chair," said Kenner.

Phyllis Sparks was too busy to talk on camera Thursday.  She said the signs were taken by an overzealous campaign worker, not her, which disputes what she told the Sheriff's Deputy. 

Thursday she issued a statement saying, "I am saddened Charlie Kenner has stooped so low that he would burdened our Sheriff's department and use their resources with this pettiness when they have real issues to be concerned about such as a heroin epidemic."
The signs she removed were recovered by Boone County Police and  returned.  All but one is back in the ground on Mt. Zion Road.

"I think she had a bad moment and needed to apologize for it and it would've been behind us," Kenner told Local 12 News.
Kenner says he only went to the sheriff to complain after he had about 3,000 dollars' worth of signs stolen.  He's not accusing Phyllis Sparks of doing anything more than removing the signs on Mount Zion Road. 

Kenner and Sparks are both Republicans.  The primary election is next Tuesday.  Kenner says he will speak to the County Attorney about pursuing his complaint.  No charges have been filed.

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