Sidonio charged with petit larceny after removing sign
Candidate says opponent’s sign urged people to check ‘defamatory website’
MURRAY – Joe Sidonio, a candidate for Murray town supervisor, was charged with petit larceny after taking a sign off his opponent’s property on Saturday, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office is reporting.
Bob Miller, who faces Sidonio in a Republican primary on Tuesday, filed the complaint against Sidonio after he took a homemade sign from the corner of Route 31 and Paddleford Road.
Sidonio was issued an appearance ticket for 7 p.m. on Sept. 20 at Murray Town Court.
The sign listed a website that notes Sidonio’s prior arrest about 25 years ago for stalking in Montana. Sidonio has disclosed that arrest to the public, including in a letter to the editor to the Orleans Hub.
“I accepted responsibility for my actions, pled guilty, and was placed on probation,” Sidonio wrote in the letter to the editor (click here) posted on May 30. “Upon successful completion, my guilty plea was withdrawn, the charges and case dismissed, and my conviction expunged. Although the charge involved no allegation of violence, substance abuse, or act of dishonesty, I carry the weight of my actions with me to this day. I own it. In hindsight, this was a pivotal event in my life making me a better person, husband and father today.”
Sidonio told WHAM news the sign he removed was not a political sign, “but a sign for a defamatory website about me.”
Sidonio told WHAM his lawyer has filed a libel lawsuit against Miller for this website.
An anonymous mailer sent to many Murray residents over the weekend also detailed the stalking charge and included copies of newspaper articles about the arrest.
Sidonio and Miller are in a Republican primary on Tuesday. Miller also has the Independence line, and Sidonio could get votes in an Independence primary after forcing an “opportunity to ballot.”