Update: Police identify sign vandal, cite him

Video shows this man vandalized a John Inks for City Council campaign sign and stole another Inks sign in the 100 block of Church Street in Mountain View early Friday (Oct. 19) morning. Video provided to the Post by Inks.

By the Daily Post staff

Job Lopez. Screen grab from KMVT public access video.

Update 3 p.m. Oct. 22 — Mountain View police announced this afternoon that they have cited Job Lopez, 73, for petty theft and vandalism in connection with the spray-painting of the John Inks for City Council sign. (A look at letters to the editor over the years from Job Lopez.)

Original story, 10:41 a.m., Oct. 22 — Mountain View police have confronted the man they believe was caught on a video surveillance camera spray-painting a sign for City Council candidate John Inks, and now the case is in the hands of District Attorney Jeff Rosen.

On Friday (Oct. 19) at 3:40 a.m., a man walked up to the front door of a house in the 100 block of Church Street. The man was seen on video spraying the Inks sign and then walking away, removing another Inks sign from the home’s front yard.

On Saturday (Oct. 20) morning, the Post printed a photo of the man from the video.

Later Saturday morning, police watched the video, and an officer “immediately” recognized the man.

“That individual was interviewed on Saturday, and our department is in discussions with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office on next steps,” a statement from police said. “Because this is an active investigation, we are not identifying the individual at this time.” District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s office would decide what charges, if any, should be filed against the man.

Over the weekend, the Post received several emails from residents who believe they know the man’s identity.

Inks, a Libertarian, has been criticized for his opposition to rent control, which is one of the hottest political topics in town.

The story is in some ways reminiscent of a controversy in 2011 in Menlo Park that began when resident Chuck Bernstein discovered that a political sign for then-fire board candidate Virginia Chang Kiraly had been thrown into some bushes in his yard. Beside the sign was a cellphone belonging to Democratic activist John Woodell, the husband of Councilwoman Kirsten Keith.

In that case, Menlo Park police decided not to take any action.

Woodell denied removing the sign. He sued Bernstein and Kiraly, claiming they accused him of removing the sign, something they each denied. Woodell’s suit was thrown out of court four years later after he destroyed data on the phone that might have indicated where the phone had been on the night in question. Bernstein and Kiraly spent a combined $600,000 in legal fees defending themselves because of Woodell’s civil suits.

Kiraly was elected in 2011 and, interestingly enough, Bernstein decided to run for the same board two years later and won. The two serve side by side on the Menlo Park Fire Protection District board.

In this election, Bernstein is up for re-election along with Keith, who is seeking her third term on the Menlo Park City Council.

10 Comments

  1. I hope they throw the book at this guy. He’s trying to take away somebody’s right to free speech. Even if I don’t agree with what somebody else has to say, I believe they have the right to say it. This is America.

  2. If this criminal is a supporter of council candidates, those candidates should come clean and admit it. I realize a candidate can’t pick his supporters, but a candidate can distance himself or herself from a supporter who does wrong, like Bernie Sanders did when one of his supporters shot Congressman Steve Scalise.

  3. I hope this person is not affiliated with any councilperson. I would venture to believe that since he is (obviously) anti-Inks he is also pro-Showalter and pro-Seigel. He seems to be also pro-RVs in MV.

    We need to VOTE OUT Showalter and Seigel in MV. Lets protect our town from the unsightly RVs!!!

  4. His name is Job Lopez. It is public info released by MVPD. He has been cited. The MV Voice has censored all public commentary on the subject and has not released his name despite the fact that MVPD did.

    Do not allow this story to be whitewashed!

  5. He ovboisly supported Siegel. Also a big supporter of Lucas Ramirez and Alison Hicks. To me it’s unclear if he is solely responsible for all of the incidents defacing Inks’s signs.

    He is a home grown terrorist filled w hate as one can see from the letters he wrote to the Post.

  6. Glad to see that civil disobedience is alive and well in Mountain View. Its what is needed to counteract the right-wing, libertarian attacks on the most vulnerable people in our city! Between the deception committed to get signatures and the 3% vacancy trigger buried in the language of the Sneaky Repeal petition, I would say that Inks is the one responsible for playing dirty politics and is associated with tactics that are aggressive. Shame on anyone who supports Inks who is attacking rent control and the RV residents in our city!

  7. That’s right – Job Lopez, the perpetrator, is a tenant activist and rent control supporter. He apparently thinks THEFT and VANDALISM are necessary to advance tenants rights.

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