Fullerton Mayor’s Wife Charged With Petty Theft in Removal of Signs Opposing Her City Council Campaign

A former candidate for Fullerton City Council who is married to the city’s mayor was charged Friday with petty theft for allegedly stealing election campaign signs, according to Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Paulette Marshall Chaffee, 69, was running for the District 5 seat on the council when she suspended her campaign on Oct. 8, after she was accused by an activist of stealing election signs.

The activist, Tony Bushala, said he spent more than $1,000 on signs opposing her candidacy.

“I put 180 signs out, and within three days all 180 signs were down,” Bushala told KTLA back in October.

The stolen signs stated “No Paulette Carpetbagger,” according to the DA’s office.

Surveillance footage from two separate locations caught the alleged sign thief in the act. Bushala said he immediately recognized Marshall Chaffee in the video. Fullerton police identified the defendant from the video, the DA’s office said.

The defendant, who is married to Fullerton Mayor Doug Chaffee, is accused of taking a sign from in front of the victim’s business and from the Union Pacific bridge.

She’s been charged with two misdemeanor counts of petty theft. If convicted as charged, she faces up to one year in jail, the DA’s office said.

Marshall Chaffee’s arraignment date is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Dec.18 at the courthouse in Fullerton.