EDGEWATER, Fla. – Michael Ignasiak, a former mayor of Edgewater who’s running to retake his old post in November, was accused of removing other candidates’ campaign signs near a local restaurant over the weekend.
Police were called to 2576 S. Ridgewood Drive in Edgewater on Oct. 22 — the address of seafood restaurant JC’s Riptides — beckoned there by Diezel Depew.
Depew, an 18-year-old mayoral candidate running against Ignasiak, told police that his opponent removed his signs, that he sought to have the signs returned and that he intended to press charges.
“I’d like to get a statement or apology from Mr. Ignasiak, and maybe then I would consider not taking it so harshly,” Depew said.
Depew said it wasn’t the first time his signs were taken, directing police to video footage recorded on a trail camera he said was placed nearby due to those recent alleged thefts.
On that video, police said a black truck was seen pulling into the business’ parking lot around 9:49 a.m., soon producing a man who one of the officers recognized through multiple professional interactions as Ignasiak, the narrative states. Additionally, according to a supplemental narrative, the footage was clear enough to show the truck’s license plate, which police said was linked to Ignasiak.
Officers made contact with Ignasiak, who stated he took Depew’s signs because they were in the city’s right of way and because they were blocking his own signs, according to a charging affidavit. He has since given the signs over to the city’s Code Enforcement Division, police said.
During the investigation, officers found that Ignasiak had also taken a sign for Ted Noftall, who is running for Volusia County Council, District 3. Detectives made contact with and informed Noftall, who said Depew first made him aware of the incident, verbally swore to his accounts and also said he wished to press charges against Ignasiak.
The signs themselves were placed at the corner of South Ridgewood Avenue and Joseph Drive, police said. It was later confirmed the location the signs taken was in the right of way of the city, police said, yet it was noted in the narrative that only authorized city employees are allowed to remove such signs that violate city ordinances.
Ignasiak posted a written agreement on Facebook, saying the owner gave Ignasiak permission to place his sign there — but the owner didn’t give Depew the same permissions.
News 6 reporter Treasure Roberts spoke with the actual owner of the restaurant, who said it was her son who had signed the agreement, not her. The owner added that she did, in fact, give Depew permission to place his sign.
According to the affidavit, Ignasiak faces at least one count of petit theft at time of writing.
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