TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) - Travis County Constable Adan Ballesteros ' campaign recently set out to catch the person they say broke the law after at least 60 of their candidate's signs disappeared. The Democratic runoff for Constable Precinct 2 has been one of the most vicious in Central Texas.
"These are signs that are paid for by donations from taxpayers of Travis County that support us," said Edward Howell, campaign spokesman. "So, in essence, he's taking money away from them."
"I'm sure some people will be believe some of this stuff, but it's completely false," Cargill said.
Public records show Bell County authorities did arrest Cargill in 1999 for a bad check. However, he quickly paid the money he owed and was released. The misdemeanor charge was soon dismissed.
"I never saw a judge," he explained. "I was fingerprinted, and they did take a picture of me. There is a picture that they're showing that is correct. That is true, but I never was convicted or anything like that."
Ballesteros' campaign pointed out that their sign was technically true.
"Whatever's fair is fair," said Howell. "Whatever law has been broken, he needs to face those charges."
But Cargill says he had every right to get rid of something so misleading.
"(They are) nothing but a bunch of liars and bullies, and they need to be fired," he said.
Cargill said the signs he removed were at his own business and also at a school down the street from his home - where he said he got permission first. The school did not return a call from KXAN.
Ballesteros' campaign said they filed a theft complaint with Austin Police. If there is a charge - and whatever it might be - criminal penalties could follow. APD said it is an open investigation and would not comment further.
This is not the first controversy we've seen with these campaigns. Ballesteros filed a lawsuit before the primary against Cargill, alleging "false and inflammatory statements." They said DPS fired him for allowing cocaine trafficking - though he says his termination came for other reasons.
In the primary, incumbent Ballesteros did not quite secure enough votes to move on. He had 46 percent, compared to Cargill with 28 percent.
The runoff election is July 31. Early voting runs through Friday.
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