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Last updated on Wednesday, October 31, 2012
(AVON - The president of the Avon School Board, Kim Woodward, has been charged with criminal conversion after admitting on her Facebook page to taking political signs that bashed her.
Kara Kenney, of RTV6 reports, Hendricks County Prosecutor Pat Baldwin filed the Class A Misdemeanor charge Tuesday after a citizen filed a police report about signs missing from her private property.
Woodward posted about taking the signs on her Facebook page.
The Call 6 Investigators emailed and called Woodward Tuesday but did not receive a response to the criminal charge.
The signs, created by Avon taxpayer Mike McGuire, slam Woodward and another incumbent for employing what McGuire calls a "spouse abuser" at an Avon school.
In her Facebook post, Woodward responded, "The time has come for me stand in front of a stone thrower."
She goes on to say McGuire's sign "crossed the line."
"So, I have taken the signs down and I have put them in Mr. McGuire's yard," read Woodward's post. "And just so that I won't be accused of stealing and in case the wind should blow, I've weighed them down with a rock. It will serve to remind me that there are some things much more important than an election. It will also remind me that Jesus asked us all to lay the rock down."
When asked about the law in general, Avon Police Chief Jack Miller said citizens can't go on someone's property to take political signs they don't agree with.
"If the signs are on private property, with the permission of the property owner and not in a right of way, it would be considered theft," said Miller.
McGuire said a criminal charge against Woodward is warranted.
"I hope the criminal charge sends a message to people who want to make bad choices and take other people's property off of private property," said McGuire "I don't take any pleasure in this."
Woodward is one of seven candidates for the at-large school board election in Avon.
Several residents who had the signs in their yards are upset.
"I was just surprised," said Debbie Collins, an Avon resident who put the anti-Woodward sign in her yard. "I don't know why you would steal political signs and post it on Facebook. I believe in freedom of speech."
"I think everybody has the right to express their opinion," said Louis Birmelin, who filed a complaint with police about the missing sign. "It was on our property."
McGuire said Woodward left three of the controversial signs piled up on his yard.
"It's my civic right, my First Amendment right to put these signs out," said McGuire. "I don't think she has a right to take my property. I honestly couldn't believe she put it on Facebook."
Birmelin is calling for Woodward's resignation and for a public apology.
"She's setting a horrible example for teachers and students in the school," said Birmelin. "She shouldn't be on the school board, period."
On Tuesday, McGuire thanked Birmelin and Collins for speaking up about the missing signs.
"Taking someone else's property -- that's not the way to go," said McGuire on Tuesday.
A school district spokesperson told RTV6 the school corporation had no comment on the criminal charge.
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