The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is going to dismiss a misdemeanor charge related to an allegation that Rep. Bob Robson, a Chandler Republican, tampered with a campaign sign.
Jerry Cobb, a spokesman with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, said the facts of the case don’t fit the elements of the offense as it is defined in statute.
Cobb said the statute specifically relates to removing, altering, or defacing a “political sign of any candidate.”
“As the sign in question was not a candidate sign, it does not appear the defendant committed a crime under the statute,” Cobb wrote in an email.
The sign in question contained arrows pointing to Robson’s and Legislative District 18 seatmate Rep. Jeff Dial’s campaign signs, and said the lawmakers voted for Obamacare. Both lawmakers were among a group of Republicans who helped to pass Medicaid expansion in 2013.
The sign belonged to Legislative District Precinct Committeman Mike Richardson.
Robson’s attorney, Tom Ryan, said in an interview last month that he was going to file a motion to dismiss on the same grounds the county attorney is using.
Ryan also said the citation is filled out wrong and alleges the crime took place at Robson’s house, and the attorney plans to take advantage of the mistake.
Ryan was not immediately available for comment.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office cited Robson Aug. 18 with tampering with a political sign, a misdemeanor punishable by up to four months in jail and up to a $750 fine.
The misdemeanor charge was filed Aug. 25 and a pre-trial conference was set for Sept. 25. The charge stems from a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office investigation that alleged Robson had dropped off another man on Aug. 9 at a Chandler convenience store, where the unknown man destroyed the sign. The man then got back into Robson’s truck. The alleged crime was captured on a convenience-store surveillance camera.
The County Attorney’s Office was involved because it provides prosecutors for Maricopa County’s Justice Courts.
Robson was one of the top two vote-getters in the GOP primary Aug. 26 and will move onto the Nov. 4 general election against Democrat Denise Epstein. Dial, who is running for the Senate, trounced his GOP opponent by 19 points and will move on to face Democrat Janie Hydrick.