Misdemeanor theft charges stemming from the pilfering of campaign signs were dismissed Wednesday against Orange County Supervisor Doug Chaffee’s wife, who successfully completed the terms of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Paulette Marshall Chaffee, 69, of Fullerton, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of petty theft in December. As part of her plea bargain, Chaffee — who had been seeking a seat on the Fullerton City Council — performed 60 hours of community service and made financial contributions to the victim witness emergency fund and another organization, according to her attorney, Stephan DeSales.
“There were some problems with the case in the first place, but she chose not to litigate the thing and she withdrew from the campaign,” DeSales said.
With Chaffee successfully completing the terms of her plea, the theft charges were formally dismissed.
Chaffee “made a mistake and put it behind her and moved on with her life,” DeSales said.
Chaffee ended up receiving 11.5 percent of the vote and finished fourth in the five-candidate field in the District 5 race for City Council in November.
Chaffee, who is an attorney, still has to contend with the state Bar of California, DeSales said.
She stole election signs that read, “No Paulette Carpetbagger” on Oct. 2, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The signs were purchased by businessman Tony Bushala and were on display at 110 E. Walnut Ave., officials said. Surveillance video was posted by Friends for Fullerton, an organization backed by Bushala that became active in ousting City Council members following the in-custody police beating and death of transient Kelly Thomas.
The defendant also took a sign from the Union Pacific bridge in Fullerton.
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