April 06, 2020
VOTE 2006

Police investigate candidate sign tampering

Maine State Police were still tracking leads Wednesday in a political sign tampering spree in Knox County this week that went beyond bounds.

Dozens of Knox County sheriff campaign signs belonging to Republican candidate Alfred Ockenfels were smeared overnight Monday with “child molester” stickers slapped over the word “sheriff.”

On Wednesday, state police Lt. Gerard Madden, commander of Troop D in Thomaston said Trooper Terry Michaud was diligently following up leads in the criminal mischief case, which is still under investigation.

Political sign tampering not only is criminal, it’s also a civil violation. Criminal mischief is a Class D misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

As a civil violation, it carries a fine of up to $250 per sign.

The defaced signs were found all over the county beginning Tuesday morning and throughout the day.

Ockenfels, who defeated incumbent Sheriff Daniel Davey in the June primary, is running in the Nov. 7 election against Democrat Donna Dennison, a sheriff’s detective, and independent Todd Butler, who is chief deputy of the sheriff’s office. Ockenfels, 61, of Rockport retired in March 2005 after 26 years with the Rockland Police Department, 16 as chief.

The signs have been sent to the state crime laboratory in Augusta for processing for fingerprints. Anyone with information about the sign tampering is asked to contact state police at 1-800-452-4664 or 354-2523.

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