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Lake Forest City Councilman Accused Of Stealing Campaign Signs

SANTA ANA ( — An Orange County city lawmaker faced possible jail time Wednesday for allegedly stealing campaign signs supporting a political opponent.

KNX 1070's Mike Landa reports Lake Forest City Councilman Adam Nick is accused of violating the very same amendments to the city's signage code he pushed for last year.

Nick, 50, is accused of driving and parking his car in a no parking zone at the intersection of Bake Parkway and Trabuco Road at around 2 a.m. on Oct. 9, according to Orange County prosecutor Jess Rodriguez.

Prosecutors say Nick instructed a fellow passenger to exit the vehicle and remove a campaign sign on a public display that belonged to Lake Forest Councilman Scott Voights.

Orange County Sheriff's deputies were patrolling the area around the same time and approached Nick's car, according to Rodriguez.

Upon conducting a search of the vehicle, deputies discovered about 10 other signs belonging to Voights stored in the back of Nick's car, Rodriguez said.

"What's most offensive about this crime isn't the value of the items taken, it's the intent behind it," Rodriguez said. "People deserve to know that they're elections are being conducted in a fair manner, and if someone is interfering with that right of the public, that's something we're gonna take seriously."

Nick was charged with one misdemeanor count of petty theft and one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property.

He is also charged with violating a Lake Forest Municipal Code (LFMC) section regarding campaign signs - the same section Nick amended in 2014 to allow for harsher penalties for those who tamper with or remove campaign signs without permission.

Nick's amendment also called for any violation of the LFMC section to be prosecutable as a misdemeanor.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

Nick is scheduled to be arraigned on Mar. 2.

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