Woman arrested after dozens of Encinitas City Council candidate’s signs defaced

The downtown Encinitas sign.
(Charlie Neuman / San Diego Union-Tribune)

About 55 campaign signs for District 4 candidate Dan Vaughn were vandalized


A 62-year-old woman was arrested earlier this week after someone used black spray paint to deface about 55 campaign signs in support of an Encinitas City Council candidate.

The Sheriff’s Department said it arrested Encinitas resident Teresa Conkey on Monday, Oct. 3, on felony suspicion of vandalism. The signs were from the campaign of Dan Vaughn, one of four candidates for the council’s District 4 seat in the Nov. 8 election.

Conkey posted $20,000 bail after her arrest. She could not be immediately reached for comment, and it was unclear if she had an attorney.

It’s up to the District Attorney’s office to decide whether to charge Conkey, who is scheduled to make her initial court appearance Monday, Oct. 10.

Reached Wednesday, Oct. 5, Vaughn said campaigns “can get heated.”

“I am sure it’s an act they regret,” Vaughn said. “I don’t want to trash somebody for a passionate act of bad judgment, for someone who did nothing more than hurt campaign signs.”

According to the Sheriff’s Department, someone used spray paint to cross out Vaughn’s name on campaign signs posted on Encinitas Boulevard, Rancho Santa Fe Road and Village Park Way.

A witness spotted the incident Saturday, Oct. 1, and reported it the following day, the department said. Investigators obtained the license plate by using surveillance footage in the area.

The victim placed the value of the ruined signs at about $444, Lt. Chris Lawrence said. That is over the $400 threshold at which vandalism constitutes a felony.

There are four candidates for the District 4 seat: Vaughn, Bruce Ehlers, Stacie Davis and Pamela Redela. The district is on the east end of the city, including the community of Olivenhain.