HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) – Chemung County Legislature candidate, Francis Freeman, was caught on camera pulling out his opponent’s lawn signs in broad daylight earlier this week.
“Yep, that is me taking the signs down,” Freeman said, confirming that it was him in the video.
The video, that was posted on Facebook, shows Freeman’s truck pulled over onto the side of the road, as he removed his opponent, Brent Tarntino’s, lawn signs and laid them on the ground. The property owner of that piece of land confirmed with 18 News that both candidates had permission to put their lawn signs up.
Both Freeman and Tarntino are both running for County Legislator for the 1st district.
Freeman alleges that he was the only candidate who had permission to put up signs on that specific piece of property, which he describes as an “empty plot of land.” Based on the pretense that his opponent lacked permission, Freeman felt morally inclined to take down Tarntino’s signs.
“I believe putting signs up on someone’s property without asking for permission first would be wrong,” said Freeman. “I didn’t do anything in a malicious or illegal way,” he added.
According to the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office, knocking down campaign signs is not a criminal offense.
“I did have and do have, direct permission from the property owner to put my signs there. He’s lying,” Tarntino firmly stated. “You never touch someone else’s signs. Those are the rules.”
It is unclear if Freeman was aware that Tarntino also had permission to put his signs there.
Primary elections in Chemung County will be on June 28th, where the candidates will face off for the Republican nomination.