Democratic Party Pressing Charges Against John Huppenthal Over Sign Flap

By Ray Stern

State Senator John Huppenthal won his race against challenger Ted Maish in yesterday's election, but his next fight against Democrats may take place in court.

Arizona Democratic Party spokeswoman Emily DeRose confirmed on Wednesday that the party wants Huppenthal charged with theft following the Republican's Election Day tussle with a Democratic campaign worker.

Chandler police Detective David Ramer tells New Times that Ruth Levin, the woman who engaged in a brief tug-of-war with the longtime senator over an anti-Huppenthal campaign sign, wants Huppenthal charged with disorderly conduct.

According to a Tuesday East Valley Tribune article, Huppenthal dropped by the Chandler police station at about 4 p.m. yesterday once he knew police were looking for him. The investigator had gone home for the day, so Huppenthal left.

Ramer says a police investigator is still waiting to hear back from Huppenthal today. Once police interview Huppenthal and complete their report, they'll decide whether to submit criminal charges to the city prosecutor's office.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.

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