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Illegal Posters Could Pin a Fine on Hakeem Jeffries' Campaign

By Janet Upadhye | June 25, 2012 5:52pm
Hakeem Jeffries' campaign posters found on public poles in Fort Greene.
Hakeem Jeffries' campaign posters found on public poles in Fort Greene.
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Janet Upadhye/DNAinfo

FORT GREENE — Campaign posters for Hakeem’s Jeffries congressional campaign were put up illegally on lamp posts and other public property in Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn over the weekend, concerned neighbors said.

It is illegal for any person to paste, post, paint, print, nail or attach on any lamppost, awning post, telegraph poles, telephone poles or other similar public item on any street, according to the Department of Sanitation.

But Sunday morning residents woke to Hakeem Jeffries' campaigns signs around the neighborhood, and some wondered if his campaign would be fined. 

Posting signs on public spaces carries a $75 to $200 fine for the first offense.

Local activist Schellie Hagan was particularly concerned of the actions by the state assemblyman's operation in light of fines that small businesses have carried in the neighborhood for the same offense. The Brooklyn Paper reported one such story that almost put a new business under. Clinton Hill's Paws-n-Claws was fined almost $9,000 after posting signs for their new business without knowing it was illegal. 

"Politicians know better," said Hagan. "And they should be held to the same standards as everyone else."

The Hakeem Jeffries for Congress Campaign spokeswoman Lupe Todd said that she was unaware that posters were put up on public spaces and that she had no idea who put them up.

Putting campaign posters on public property is a widespread practice, and that campaign workers aren't always clear on the rules.

In some past campaigns, illegal postering turned into a big deal. 

In 2009, Bill Thompson’s mayoral campaign was fined for placing campaign posters illegally and had to pay $619,125. Bill de Blasio and John Liu also paid large fines for illegal postering in 2009, according to the New York Post.

On Monday, the day before the congressional primary vote, while both parties are scrambling to win last-minute votes, Todd said she would take care of the posters.

“If it’s really bothering residents, tell me where they are,” she said. “I’ll send someone to take them down.”