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State Senate Candidate’s Campaign Sign Could Land Him In Jail

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Michael Carr's campaign sign on his home in the Cheesman Park Neighborhood is in violation of zoning codes. (credit: CBS)

Michael Carr’s campaign sign on his home in the Cheesman Park Neighborhood is in violation of zoning codes. (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4)- State Senate candidate Michael Carr’s campaign sign that he posted in his yard could land him in jail.

Zoning enforcement workers told him to take it down. He refused based on his right to free speech. Now a lawsuit has been filed over the sign.

“This is ridiculous! This is my home! It’s my front porch! I should be able to hang whatever sign I want,” said Carr.

Carr lives in the Cheesman Park Neighborhood. He’s running as a Republican for Colorado State Senate District 31 but his sign has attracted some unwanted attention.

“We had a knock on the door from the Denver sign police that basically issued us a notice of violation and threatened my family with fines and jail time unless we take down the sign,” said Carr.

Carr decided to do the opposite. Not only did he not remove the sign as instructed he filed a lawsuit against the City of Denver for what he calls a violation of free speech.

“Their zoning code is out of compliance with the First Amendment,” said Carr.

Pat Steadman said he sees both sides of the issue. He is running against Carr in for Senate District 31.

It was actually one of Steadman’s supporters who had issue with the sign and contacted zoning enforcement.

“I consider myself to be a very strong defender of First Amendment rights,” said Steadman. “But I still think it’s very important to have sign codes.”

Both sides of the lawsuit are being evaluated by Denver City Attorney Doug Friednash. He hopes the court can make a decision without the case going to trial.

Friednash released this statement, “We have agreed to delay enforcement at this time in order to err on the side of free speech and expression. We constantly review our ordinances to make sure we comply with evolving case law and to provide common-sense solutions for the citizens of Denver.”|

That means Carr gets to keep his sign, for now.

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