Redlands school board member told volunteer to take opponent’s campaign sign, police report says – San Bernardino Sun

Redlands Unified school board member Patty Holohan directed a campaign worker to confiscate campaign signage belonging to an opponent in the Nov. 8 election, according to Redlands Police Department records.

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Critics are calling for Holohan to resign.

The longtime member of the Redlands Unified School District Board of Education did not respond to requests for comment by phone and email on Monday afternoon. Holohan previously told the media her campaign taking the signs was a “mistake.”

On Oct. 17, 2022, Redlands police investigated a report that a missing campaign sign for Erin Stepien, a candidate for the District 1 seat on the school board, had been tracked using an Apple AirTag tracking device to Holohan’s home. As the officer was en route, he received a call that the AirTag had moved to a residence on Thomas Street, according to police records.

The location was the residence of Holohan campaign worker Mary Bell, who confirmed she had Stepien campaign signs in her garage, police reported. Bell told the officer she believed Stepien’s campaign didn’t have permission to post the signs where they had been, at a Brookside Avenue shopping center, and that Holohan had told her to take them down.

The four signs had an estimated value of between $10 and $12 each and, when Stepien told the officer she wanted charges filed, Bell was cited for theft, records show.

On Oct. 18, a Redlands officer spoke with the owners of the Brookside Avenue shopping center, who said Stepien’s campaign asked for and was given permission to put the sign up at the shopping center, according to police reports.

That same day, two Redlands detectives interviewed Holohan. According to police records, she said she believed the Stepien sign in question had upset her because she had been told by a member of the family who owned the shopping center that Stepien had not asked for permission to place a sign there, and  Holohan said she directed Bell to take the sign down.

Police forwarded the case to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office for review in October.

As of Jan. 9, 2023, there were no cases against Bell or Holohan in the San Bernardino County Superior Court online system. The District Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for comment on the case on Monday afternoon.

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