A woman who won a seat in the Buena Park City Council could face jail time after being charged for theft involving campaign signs that called her a “carpetbagger,” officials announced Monday.
Youngsun “Sunny” Park was a Democratic candidate for the District 1 seat when she, along with an unidentified male, allegedly stole about a dozen campaign signs on Oct. 19, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors said the signs read “No Sunny Park, Carpetbagger,” which were placed in various parts of the city by a group called “Committee for a Better Buena Park.” Her campaign published a Facebook video confronting a man the post identified as the husband of Park’s Republican opponent, incumbent Virginia Vaughn.
“You do not touch property we paid for,” the man says in the recording.
The post contended that the campaign was collecting the signs as evidence of Park’s opponent’s “dirty tricks.”
A witness who saw Park taking the signs alerted Buena Park police, who then arrested the candidate, prosecutors said. Officers released Park after citing her for unlawfully removing campaign signs, OC Weekly reported.
Park, an estate planning attorney, lived in Buena Park for about a year before she decided to run for City Council, OC Weekly said.
The Democrat was charged Friday with one misdemeanor count of petty theft, the District Attorney’s Office said. She could face up to six months in county jail if convicted as charged.
The Orange County Registrar’s website shows Kim garnering 16 more votes than Vaughn. Park announced victory on Nov. 30.
She was scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 19.
A similar incident happened in the city council race in Fullerton earlier in October. In that case, the mayor’s wife, Paulette Marshall Chaffee, was accused of taking signs that also labeled her a “carpetbagger.”
She suspended her campaign following the allegations. Prosecutors charged her with two misdemeanor counts of petty theft.