State Politics

She’s caught on video stealing his campaign signs. He blames Miami’s ‘nasty’ politics

A screen grab from the surveillance footage taken outside Florida House candidate Jose Fernandez’s campaign headquarters in Westchester, which shows a woman stealing the Republican’s campaign signs and loading them into a red Fiat.
A screen grab from the surveillance footage taken outside Florida House candidate Jose Fernandez’s campaign headquarters in Westchester, which shows a woman stealing the Republican’s campaign signs and loading them into a red Fiat.

A mystery woman in polka-dot pants was caught on camera Monday pulling campaign signs from outside the offices of Republican Jose Fernandez, a first-time candidate running for the state House in Miami.

Now Fernandez is offering a $1,000 reward for any information on the suspected sign-snatcher, who is seen in the security camera footage stealing a handful of his campaign signs and loading them into a red Fiat before driving away. The incident took place at 2780 SW 87th Ave. in Westchester.

“I’m willing to put up a reward to find whoever it is,” Fernandez said, adding that someone had also stolen signs from outside his home and around his neighborhood.

He posted two videos of the theft on his public Facebook page on Friday.

He said about 30 signs had been stolen, and that prank callers had been harassing his wife through blocked phone numbers.

“It’s been nasty,” he said. “I never thought it would be this bad.”

Fernandez said he thinks the thief must be supporting one of his opponents in the House District 115 primary, which include Vance Aloupis, Rhonda Lopez and Carlos Daniel Gobel.

Alex Miranda, a consultant to Aloupis’ campaign, cast doubt on Fernandez’s intentions, calling the incident “just another desperate, feeble attempt by an individual with no record of accomplishments trying to smear his opponents.”

“Mr. Fernandez should focus his efforts on answering why his law firm was sued for discriminating against a female employee because of her disability, and stop planting stories in local newspapers,” Miranda said in a statement, referring to a 2016 lawsuit filed against the Law Offices of Jose R. Fernandez by a former employee who alleged age and disability discrimination.

Fernandez, who said the employee’s allegations were baseless, settled the lawsuit out of court earlier this year.

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