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Candidate Who Lost in Sheriff's Race Says County Workers Took His Signs

"I think it's just a blatant misuse of county money and funds when there's more important stuff to be done."

Seymour Fisk, the candidate who challenged incumbent Sheriff Chuck Korzenborn in last week's Republican primary, claims that county workers were removing his campaign signs in southern Kenton County.

"I think it's ridiculous that this is going on," Fisk said in an appearance before the Kenton County Fiscal Court on Tuesday night in Covington. "I don't want to see this happen again to the next guy who runs against anybody because one man takes it upon himself to take up signs in the right of way when they're not in the right of way."

Fisk blamed Roger Wells, the county's solid waste coordinator and fleet manager, of unfairly targeting his unsuccessful campaign. Last Tuesday, Korzenborn scored 80% of the vote against Fisk in a county of 10,288 votes to Fisk's 2,520.

Fisk said that on the Monday before the election, he was at a corner store in the south county and witnessed a Kenton County vehicle pull up, slow down, and then stop. The candidate expected the employee to removed a "Larry Glynn for Mayor of Piner" sign that nearby residents jokingly put up each cycle. Instead, a Fisk for Sheriff sign was taken. The worker, according to Fisk, said the sign was in the right of way, a violation of the law. 

Fisk, who owns a landscaping company, said there were dozens of signs in the right of way along Kentucky 16 and that those signs were not removed. He retrieved many of his signs from Kenton County's Public Works Department. "I want to see something happen about it, some sort of resolution where this person involved gets reprimanded," Fisk said to the Fiscal Court.

Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghaus said that he received a couple of text messages from Fisk over concerns that the sheriff candidate's signs were being unfairly removed y county workers. Arlinghaus said he was assured by Wells that the signs were in the right of way. "Obviously, we weren't there and we're going to have to rely on the word of (Wells) and his staff, and as I've told (Fisk) recently as well, even several of my own signs were picked up from the right of way," Arlinghaus said. "Every candidate lost some signs that were inadvertently placed in the right of way."

Wells said that residents and other candidates had been complaining about Fisk's signs in the right of way. In all, Wells said that his department collected about a hundred signs, a fifth of which belong to the Fisk campaign. "Sun tan bed ads, real estate companies, we take them all down," Wells said. "Not just Mr. Fisk. We have nothing against Mr. Fisk other than he is breaking the law by putting signs on the right of way. Once it is in the right of way, just like a McDonald's cup, it's garbage."

Wells said the department reached out to Fisk telling the candidate that he could come and pick up his signs. "All calls ended with him hanging up on me when I tried to explain the law to him," Wells said. "He said he mows the right of way. I said just because you mow it, it's still the right of way."

Wells said the night before the election, Fisk left the Public Works Department and placed a campaign sign at the front of its lot. "A clear violation of the election law," Wells said.

Story by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: Seymour Fisk speaks to Kenton Co. Fiscal Court on Tuesday/RCN