Sheriff’s candidate reports signs damaged, missing

MORRIS – Republican Grundy County Sheriff’s candidate Ken Briley has filed a report with Morris police saying several of his campaign signs were damaged and taken in Morris.

The police report states that sometime between July 15 and 18, Briley was informed one of his signs on the fence of a property behind Dairy Queen was damaged by spray paint.

He said he replaced the sign and was told a short time later it was damaged again, this time allegedly with a can of yellow paint. He removed the second sign and put up a third Aug. 15.

He reported that the third sign, along with a sign south of Sherwood Oaks on Route 47, had been spray-painted. Then Aug. 27, while he was out of town, he was notified both signs had been painted again.

“I’m extremely disappointed that someone would resort to this,” Briley said Thursday. “It’s infringing on the First Amendment right of freedom of speech, of the voters of this community who want to support me.”

He said he is not sure why people want to paint his election signs, but he wants them held responsible.

“It is being handled by the Morris Police Department. I have the utmost confidence in them,” Briley said. “I will leave it to the legal system.”

He said he hopes to receive restitution for the signs once the person responsible is caught and charged. In total, four signs were damaged and three signs are missing, he said. The signs are valued between $28.69 and $48.88, depending on the size.

Morris Police Chief Brent Dite said the matter is under investigation, and that no arrests had been made as of Thursday.

Briley is running against Democrat Kevin Callahan for sheriff in the Nov. 3 election. Callahan was appointed sheriff in January 2013 after the death of Sheriff Terry Marketti.