Trinity councilwoman says criminal charges are “politically motivated”

Nov. 07, 2013 @ 06:20 PM

A Trinity City Council member who was arrested for allegedly stealing campaign signs says the charges are “frivolous.”
Councilwoman Debbie Frazier faces charges of misdemeanor larceny, possession of stolen property and stealing political signs following the execution of an arrest warrant on Oct. 31.
The warrant alleges that Frazier “unlawfully and willfully did steal, take and carry away one blue and white Barry Lambeth political sign” from 5323 Surratt Drive in Archdale.
Frazier, 57, represents Ward 1 on the council. She was not up for re-election this year.
A warrant was issued for Frazier’s arrest on Oct. 31. She was taken before Magistrate Richard Small and released on an unsecured bond of $2,500.
“Someone called and asked if I had removed my signs,” said Lambeth, who edged out challenger Steve Lawing by four votes to keep his Ward 2 seat on the council in Tuesday’s election. “They were gone, so I filed a compliant with the sheriff’s office, as the statute requires. I just called to report it. The law is the law.”
Once the complaint was filed, Randolph County sheriff’s deputies investigated the incident and charged Frazier.
“Mr. Barry Lambeth filed frivolous criminal charges against a fellow council member for returning one of his signs to City Hall,” Frazier said. “Apparently, it was politically motivated.”
According to the warrant, the offense happened on Oct. 12 in front of Builder’s Fireplace and Supply.
Both Frazier and Lambeth said the recent charges will not become a distraction during council business.
“It shouldn’t. We were elected to do a job for the city and the citizens. As far as I am concerned, it won’t affect anything whatsoever,” Lambeth said.
Frazier said it won’t affect how she conducts business, either.
“I have never said a negative word to or about, in public or private, any of my colleagues or fellow council members,” she said.
Frazier has a Nov. 18 court date in Randolph County District Court.
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