LAKE HAVASU CITY – A Lake Havasu City business owner was cited this week on charges related to the theft of campaign signs.
Debi Ashton, owner of Havasu Coin on Smoketree Avenue, was charged with theft Wednesday, and according to District 5 state Rep. Paul Mosley, she may have stolen as many as 20 campaign signs this week. According to Mosley, she may also have attached a number of stickers echoing Donald Trump’s catchphrase, “Drain the Swamp,” on several of his campaign signs.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes Title 16, the removal or defacement of a political campaign sign during an election season is a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of four months in jail, a $750 fine and two years of probation.
“A witness saw her take three of them,” Mosley said. “A sign right up the street from where I live was also taken. I drove around town and saw that about 20 signs disappeared that night. It’s a shame she can’t just vote … I estimate she took about $500 to $600 worth of my signs. I don’t have an endless supply.”
According to Mosley, candidates tend to lose more than a quarter of their campaign signs each election year due to theft. Mosley’s campaign placed about 100 signs throughout Havasu for this year’s election, at a cost of about $30 each. Mosley was informed of the alleged theft by a witness, who said she saw Ashton take one of Mosley’s signs and place them into her vehicle, according to the police report.
“I was lucky that a witness saw her and photographed her in the act,” Mosley said.
According to statements Mosley made to Lake Havasu City Police officers, he believed Ashton was upset because he intended to introduce a bill before the state legislature that would dictate how gold and coin shops handle their potential precious metals to include ways of tracking those metals.
According to the police report, officers contacted Ashton on Wednesday. She accused Mosley of believing he is “above the law,” the report said, but told police she did not take Mosley’s signs. When confronted with photographic evidence appearing to show the contrary, Ashton allegedly admitted to taking one of Mosley’s campaign signs, the report said.
Ashton declined to comment on her encounter with police officers on Wednesday, but said she knew Mosley before he was elected.
“I haven’t spoken to him since he went into office,” Ashton said. “I think he’s bamboozled me. He used God to get elected, and that’s a pet peeve of mine. He’s targeted all of the churches with his signs … it really makes me angry.”
An avid supporter of President Trump, Ashton says she despises corruption in government and believes Mosley represents such corruption.
“I’ve been stopped on the highway and given a ticket for driving 10 mph over the speed limit,” she said, comparing her experience to that of Mosley’s own traffic stop in March, during which he was allegedly traveling at about 97 mph in a 55-mile-per-hour zone. Mosley expressed during the stop that he was subject to “legislative immunity” during his traffic stop, but has since apologized for his choice of words, as well as the offense.
“I love Donald Trump and I hate corruption,” Ashton said. “What (Mosley) has done is disgusting.”
Ashton is scheduled to appear in Lake Havasu City Municipal Court to answer the accusations against her on Aug. 27.