Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Cook County Board Democratic primary candidate Alma Anaya talk to reporters at City Hall on Tuesday, March 6. A man was arrested Wednesday for taking yard signs that belonged to one of Anaya’s opponents, Angie Sandoval. File Photo. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Man accused of stealing yard signs of county board candidate

A man who supports Cook County Board of Commissioners candidate Alma Anaya was charged with misdemeanor theft for allegedly stealing yard signs bearing the name of Anaya’s chief opponent.

Shortly after midnight Wednesday, officers in the West Lawn neighborhood saw 32-year-old Richard Drew approaching and taking yard signs supporting Angie Sandoval, a police report said.

Drew allegedly had wire cutters in his hand and his car had some political yard signs inside. He was arrested in the 6200 block of South Lawndale.

Officials with Sandoval’s campaign called Drew, of the 3800 block of South Damen, a campaign staffer. But a spokeswoman for the Anaya camp said Drew is more of an “overzealous volunteer,” not a staffer. The spokeswoman also accused Sandoval’s supporters of stealing signs and said the campaign has videotaped evidence.

“We made it clear to all our volunteers and other supporters that we do not condone these sorts of tactics,” Anaya’s spokeswoman said.

Anaya and Sandoval are running for the seat vacated by 7th District Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago).

“It is deeply troubling that Alma Anaya’s campaign would engage in illegal and unethical tactics like stealing signs from citizens’ private property, but it is unsurprising that a campaign that cannot win on the issues would stoop to this level,” a statement from the Sandoval campaign read.

“Chicagoans want an honest debate about how to keep Cook County affordable and safe, not a candidate whose campaign engages in the kind of illegal behavior it claims to want to prevent.”

Earlier this week, Anaya and Garcia accused Sandoval of taking campaign contributions in excess of county limits.

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