Mayoral Candidate Reports Campaign Signs Thefts

A candidate for mayor in one Johnston County town says his campaign signs are being vandalized and stolen.

On Monday, Terry Ray Baker, a candidate for Mayor in the Town of Kenly, filed a report with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office claiming 20 of his signs had been stolen or damaged. Baker said the 20 signs were worth $250.

When reached by telephone on Wednesday, Baker said he did not want to comment about the sign thefts because of the ongoing law enforcement investigation.

On September 17th, Baker sent a three page press release to local media outlets claiming his political signs were being stolen. Baker said he had filed a complaint with the Kenly Police Department. He claimed the sign thefts were caused by supporters of his opponent, Bonnie Williamson, who is the current Kenly mayor.

The alleged thefts are the latest twist in the Kenly mayoral race.

As first reported on WTSB News, Kenly Police Chief Josh Gibson and Detective Rayne Biggs filed a lawsuit against Baker two weeks ago.  The lawsuit contends Biggs, the only female on the Kenly police department, began receiving unwanted and inappropriate Facebook messages from Baker in November 2016.  The messages repeatedly asked Biggs to accept a dinner date invitation and to enter into a romantic relationship.  Officer Biggs did not responded to the messages.

Baker allegedly continued to send the female officer additional messages asking her to call.

On July 7, 2017, Baker filed as a candidate for Town of Kenly mayor. Afterwards he began issuing press releases which he posted on hisTerry Baker for Kenly Mayor Facebook page.

On August 14, 2017, Baker posted a statement on the Facebook page alleging Chief Gibson was dishonest and despite being married was having a sexual relationship with the female officer.

The statement reads in part:  “I am pro law enforcement and support honest, law abiding officers, not ones that lie to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations and to the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office. I also do not support officers lieing (sic) to town officials as well as married police supervisors having sexual relationships with police subordinates.”

The press release directly claimed Chief Gibson made false statements and questioned his professional reputation, according to the lawsuit. The post also directly suggested Chief Gibson and Officer Biggs had engaged in sexual relationship since Chief Gibson is Officer Biggs supervisor and is the only female on the Kenly Police Department, according to the suit.

After the lawsuit was filed, Baker declined comment to WTSB News on the civil action. Facebook photo