Illegal Fletcher sign comes back four times


What would you say if a Fletcher-for-Sheriff sign was placed on your property without your permission? What if there was no contact information left for the sign and you removed the sign, but then the sign keeps coming back three more times for a total of FOUR times? This happened to Gas Plus, at 3467 North Rice Street, and the manager is furious.

In this case, the owner is a corporation with an understood policy of not getting involved in politics. And if an exception had been made, policy is such that the manager would have been told. The manager says there was never permission given. All other campaigns get permission BEFORE putting up a sign. In fact, that is the law:

In addition the Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Control act (Minnesota Statues, section 173.15) prohibits erecting advertising devices: On private land without the consent of the owner or occupant:

(MDOT letter on the Minnesota Secretary of State website)

And the manager says this as well:

The facts in this are that Fletcher’s campaign is illegally putting these signs up.

(personal email from manager)

In addition to prior permission, most campaigns leave a note on the door handle with contact information for the sign. The Bostrom-for-Sheriff campaign does that. The bottom of the Fletcher sign has “Fletcher-for-Sheriff” with an address and NO phone number. Using google, no one can find a Fletcher-for-Sheriff website or any contact info. I checked with “411” information for phone number and there is no Fletcher-for-Sherff listing nor any listing with the words “Fletcher” and “campaign” in any way. Are people supposed to contact the currents sheriff’s office about the sheriff’s campaign? Normally that is violation of so many rules.

Believe me, you want to read the rest of the story, the worst is yet to come!

The process of offering a sign has the legal qualities of making a gift. It is a permanent, unconditional transfer of property to another without any demand for compensation in return. This is especially true when NO contact information is left with the person receiving the sign. We ask people, “Do you want a sign?” — “Sure” — “It’s yours.” We gift the sign, without any expectation of its return, and offer a service to pick it up later for disposal. If the person wants to keep the sign, then that happens if he or she simply takes it down and stores it. Personally I keep many signs and just reuse the signs in the next season. So in legal terms the sign should be considered a gift, especially since signs have little or no value, just like political literature dropped at a door.

And without contact information and especially without prior approval, the sign can be just considered abandoned property.

Two things must occur for property to be abandoned: (1) an act by the owner that clearly shows that he or she has given up rights to the property; and (2) an intention that demonstrates that the owner has knowingly relinquished control over it. Some clear action must be taken to indicate that the owner no longer wants his or her property. Any act is sufficient as long as the property is left free and open to anyone who comes along to claim it….A person’s intention to abandon his or her property may be established by express language to that effect or it may be implied from the circumstances surrounding the owner’s treatment of the property, such as leaving it unguarded in a place easily accessible to the public.

(Legal Dictionary)

Therefore, the Fletcher campaign sign can be said to be gifted or abandoned, especially when no sign information is left at the door.

So the owner or “agent” of the owner, especially since this is corporation owned has a right to disposed of gifted or abandoned property. They especially have the right to remove it.

Now if only there was a way to prove that the manager (legally the owner’s agent) wanted the sign removed.

Wait, wait, there is! Just because it was a Fletcher sign, the person doing the manager a favor, still asked for the request in writing. Here is a photo of the written permission with the name of the manager blanked out, because she does not want to become a public entity.

And now here is the real story. After a Fletcher sign has been put up multiple times, the manager’s friend is followed when he removes the Fletcher sign and arrested by SIX sheriff people including a high-ranking commander and a high-ranking inspector. SIX is a number normally reserved for felony arrests — not removing an almost worthless sign, illegally put on private property. A complaint was set upon this person, NOT by the owner or manager of Gas Plus, but rather by someone representing the ownership of the Fletcher-for-Sheriff campaign.

Wait, wait, it gets worse. The manager did not know that her friend was a reserve deputy because she never saw him in uniform. The sheriff’s office wants to run an internal IA complaint against him and did take his badge and his gun. They know he is a Bostrom supporter. (Since most people are supporting Matt Bostrom for sheriff, it would be hard to find someone to remove the sign who was not a supporter.)

I’ve never even seen the man in a uniform nor did I even know he had a badge of any type, he was simply a customer doing me a favor because I don’t want ANY political signs at my store even if they were allowed.  He is there at least once a day, he is part of our “regular” family and don’t appreciate the way this has been reported. 

(personal email from manager)

Sometimes a campaign sign can moved without the campaign knowing about it. However, a note sent from Sheriff Fletcher to the Matt Bostrom website and a published article by Mara G. both indicate that Sheriff Fletcher knew and intended to place the signs there. So the sheriff is admitting that he deliberately put up a sign FOUR times against an owner’s wishes.

Wait, wait, it gets worse. The manager actually catches people in the act of putting up the signs. She tells them to stop and they do not stop. They claim they have permission even though they have no paperwork and don’t even know who the owners are.

Do you know that within two days there were two young men putting them up again WITHOUT MY PERMISSION and when I questioned them they lied about it saying they were given permission but couldn’t even tell me by who nor did they have anything showing this “permission”? 

(personal email from manager)

So what does a person do when someone will not stop putting up a sign?  Call the police! The only police department in Shoreview is the sheriff’s department. So the only recourse for the manager was to turn in the Sheriff to the Sheriff, which she did to Deputy Werdien, in case number 10020-767. The deputy actually caught the people and simply let them go with an “advise” and release, and NO report filed. Big surprise! The manager had the sign taken down.

Wait, wait, it does get worse. Another (fourth) Fletcher sign was put up!

Wait, wait, it gets does get even worse. The Fletcher signs are put in with iron rebar sunk deep into the ground and wire wrapping the sign to the rebar. It is tough to remove. Each time the rebar was sunk deeper. Deeper into the ground where the manager has previously noted gas flags indicating underground gas lines. This was not just a nuisance, this was actually dangerous.

As you all know, I actively door knock and phone for Matt Bostrom. If you look around you will find a startling number of houses and businesses with both Bostrom and Fletcher signs. Here is the story not being told. People are scared of Fletcher and unlike the brave lady above, will not speak up or go to the press. People admitted to me privately that they are afraid and will not take down the sign, even though they did not give prior permission for the sign and even though they do not support Sheriff Fletcher. So someone could say that I was making this up because I am not giving you a list of public names. The proof is simple, go ask, just like I did.

And then there are the signs on vacant or foreclosed properties, which will be the subject of another entire article.

So when the sheriff is putting up signs illegally, and then terrorizing people who legally take down the signs, who stops the sheriff? Especially who stops the sheriff, when the sheriff is the only police in many areas of Ramsey county?

That is why we have to elect Matt Bostrom for sheriff. Don’t just get mad — get active. Tell the story, get a Matt Bostrom sign, fund more Matt Bostrom lawn signs, and volunteer. This is the only way that we can get a sheriff that we can trust!