Lacey council candidates spar

Lacey Mayor Graeme Sackrison on Friday filed a police complaint about his opponent in the City Council race, Ron Lawson, after Lawson admitted taking two of Sackrison’s campaign signs from a Lacey roadside Wednesday.

Doug Kramer, a city code enforcement officer, said he witnessed Lawson remove two signs from private property Wednesday afternoon, calling the act “almost alarming.” Lawson “went over and kicked it over with almost disgust,” Kramer said.

When he returned to Lacey City Hall, he told Sackrison. The mayor said his signs were taken from a vacant lot near the intersection of Clearbrook Drive and Lacey Boulevard.

Sackrison said he drove to Lawson’s house and confronted him. “My signs were in the back of his truck,” he said. He told Lawson that “if there’s any more, if I see any more stuff, I’m going to file a complaint.”

On Thursday, Sackrison said he discovered some of his signs on the ground.

“For me, that sort of capped it,” he said. Sackrison filed a complaint Thursday with the Public Disclosure Commission.

But spokeswoman Lori Anderson said her agency doesn’t have jurisdiction over the matter. After learning this from a reporter, Sackrison said he filed a police report.

It’s unclear whether anything will come of Sackrison’s complaint. Disappearing campaign signs are common with each election.

Lawson, though admitting he took the signs, said he was right to do so because his signs have been taken down this election season.

“For almost this entire campaign since I started putting up signs, people have been taking them down,” Lawson said. Wherever Sackrison’s signs were, “it was very apparent that his signs stayed and my signs disappeared.”

Lawson said the matter came to a head when he was driving to the post office to pick up some stamps and saw his signs gone from an empty lot.

“I said, OK, that’s enough,” he said. “I took his two signs down, put them in the back of my truck.”

Lawson said he thought his actions were “appropriate under the circumstances” because his signs had been stolen too.

“When I did what I did, it was simply to make a point: Let’s not play that way,” he said.

He said he didn’t commit theft. “Theft is when you take something and keep it for your own purposes,” he said.

Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869