Election for Lee County Sheriff heats up early
FORT MYERS- With attack signs in Lee County, the campaign fight for sheriff is on. They cast Sheriff Mike Scott as corrupt condoning abuse, lies and racism.
"I know the person is a coward by virtue of their anonymity," said Scott.
Fox 4 caught up with him in Cape Coral. He has no idea who's behind the poster. There's one at the intersection of Palm Beach Boulevard and State Route 31.
"Most people are man enough or woman enough to bring their opinions or philosophies out in the open," said Scott.
But the sign's life is limited. So far, code enforcement has taken down 20 of them throughout Lee County.
"Where do you draw the line between policing and politics?," asked Fox 4 reporter Gabrielle Sarann. "Well, this has nothing to do with politics," replied Scott. "One could speculate that it's political in nature but these are libelous, slanderous signs that beyond free speech are being posted illegally."
Posted illegally because they're tacked on public property like utility poles, considered in the public right of way.
"Where they put them, it might be in violation of the code enforcement department," explained Sharon Harrington, the supervisor of elections for Lee County. "But they can pretty much put up what they want."
What a person puts on a sign is a freedom of speech, says Harrington. But unless they play by the rules, those glaring attacks are coming down.
"Is a part of you glad this person is violating a law by posting on a utility sign so you can take it down?," asked Sarann. "There's never a part of me that's glad anybody is violating the law," said Scott, with a slight smile.
Keep in mind, once campaign season starts, it's important to know signs can go up no earlier than 60 days before an election.