Man arraigned for allegedly stealing Tom Reed campaign sign

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Gary McCaslin, charged with petit larceny, for allegedly stealing a Tom Reed campaign sign was arraigned at the Town of Corning Court, on Monday night.

McCaslin, who is a community advocate and retired pastor of the First Baptist Church in Painted Post, pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Christina Sonsire, filed a motion to dismiss the charges.Sonsire said there is no evidence that McCaslin committed any sort of crime. She said he saw several political signs from many different candidates that were still on state land, and he was doing what a good citizen would do, which is clearing that area of political clutter 

“There are no facts to support any sort of criminal intent,” Sonsire said. “It’s a waste of court resources and law enforcement resources.”

Sonsire also made a motion for a special prosecutor. Sonsire said this is because Brooks Baker, the Steuben County District Attorney has had a long relationship with Congressman Reed.

“He served as his senior attorney for 3 years,” Sonsire said. “He’s made multiple donations to the campaign. Ordinarily it would not necessitate disqualification but in this case, it is an overtly political matter. We need to make sure the integrity of the criminal justice system is upheld.”

Nick Weinstein, Campaign Manager for Tom Reid for Congress, said they had dozens of campaign signs stolen from a spot in Corning. Weinstein decided to put GPS trackers on the signs to find out who was stealing them. Weinstein said the GPS tracked one of the stolen signs to McCaslin’s home. According to Weinstein, McCaslin returned the sign but not the GPS tracker. McCaslin was charged in early July for petit larceny.

“That’s not someone who is picking up garbage on the side of the road,” Weinstein sad. “That’s someone who had an agenda.”

Judge Dale J. Leonard will review these motions, and McCaslin will appear in Corning Town Court at 5:30 p.m. August 2nd.

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