FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT

City council candidate – and wife of mayor – accused of stealing rivals’ campaign signs

FULLERTON, Calif. – A Southern California businessman said dozens of campaign signs he recently erected have all disappeared — and a review of surveillance footage, he said, points to the wife of Mayor Doug Chaffee.

Paulette Marshall Chaffee was herself running for public office, specifically a seat on the Fullerton City Council.

Tony Bushala said he spent more than $1,000 for signs opposing her candidacy and put them up across town, but they've since gone missing.

"I put 180 signs out, and within three days all 180 signs were down," he said. "Every one — the whole city."

Surveillance footage from two separate locations near his office caught the alleged sign thief in the act. Bushala said he immediately recognized Marshall Chaffee when reviewing the video.

"I knew it was her right away once I looked at the video because I know her personally," he told KTLA. "We've met before on several occasions, and I've seen her at city council meetings. She's a very recognizable person; she's a public figure."

An attorney for Marshall Chaffee said at this point they do not have a comment. However, they confirmed the candidate's campaign has been suspended.

A representative for the city also said Mayor Chaffee has no comment at this point.

Bushala sent a letter to Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackaukas asking his office to investigate the matter.

Fullerton police said a police report has been filed regarding the thefts, but the department has referred the case to the DA's office for investigation to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

The DA's office, however, said as of Thursday afternoon it had not yet officially received the case.