NEW YORK – A New York professor has been arrested after she was caught on camera removing Republican yard signs from someone else’s lawn.
Laura Ebert is an economics professor at the State University of New York (SUNY) New Paltz. She was charged with misdemeanor larceny for stealing signs supporting Republican candidates John Faso, and Marc Molinaro.
The political signs were displayed at the home of Patrick and Lisa McGovern in Rosendale, eight miles from the school.
Patrick McGovern noticed the signs were missing so he reviewed security camera footage. As a result, he found his culprit. The evidence showed the public university professor pulling up to the signs, hopping out of her truck, removing the signs from the ground, and putting them in the bed of her truck before getting in to drive away Oct. 30.
— ?⛄?Lisa McMerica??? (@LisaMcGov) November 1, 2018
“It’s crazy in our area lately. It’s never been like this,” Lisa, a registered Independent, told Fox News. “People are getting over-emotional.”
McGovern said the incident was especially “frightening” because it was so close to their home, but she said it was amusing to find out it was a local college professor.
“I kind of thought it was funny in a way, because of the times, you hear about stories of the professors being very liberal and not allowing people with conservative or Republican views to speak … almost like trying to shut down my voice, which seems antithetical to what a professor should be doing because we should all have a voice,” McGovern said.
According to the police report, Ebert apologized for stealing the signs, reported The Washington Free Beacon.
“Based off my observation of the security footage, I patrolled to the residence and made contact with Ms Ebert and she was subsequently taken into custody for petit larceny,” the report reads. “Ms Ebert stated that she was ‘sorry’ and that she had disposed of the signs.”
Ebert said she was caught in a moment of weakness and high emotion and meant no harm to McGovern nor did she know she lived there.
“I have family I love that support Trump, so I was after the sign, not the person,” Ebert told Campus Reform. “I have apologized and feel bad, but clearly the GOP is putting a big deal [of] spin on this. Many signs have been taken and disfigured, which, while no excuse for my bad behavior, doesn’t warrant the death threats I have received … Nor the smear campaign after me …”
According to the police report, Ebert is set to appear in court November 13. It is unknown whether she possessed a collection of stolen signs from the area, although the manner in which she rolled up to the home with the bed cover to her truck in the raised position, it gave the appearance that she may have been busy collecting signs. Furthermore, the security camera footage caught a quick glance into the rear of her truck as it rolled by. Hence, cargo had the appearance of yard signs. However, additional thefts were not confirmed as part of the report.
Consequently, whenever a college instructor does something ridiculous, they get labeled the “Nutty Professor.” In a paradoxical twist, Ebert now wears the sign according to many online comments.
There are several negative reviews on RateMyProfessor.com about how “unorganized” and “all over the place” Ebert is. Many said she was their worst professor they’d taken at SUNY New Paltz. Nevertheless, people noted she is also a nice person.
Perhaps, but you can add “thief” to the list as well.
“I’m sure she’s not a bad person but she just acted irrationally,” McGovern said. “I think it’s actually kind of a representation of what’s happening in our country right now, that people on both sides are dug in on their side and doing things without thinking.”
Moreover, the incident came weeks after community members in the same town rallied around an American flag mural targeted by protesters who are now trying to boycott the pizza shop responsible for putting it up and was vandalized Monday night.
“My husband said I’m not allowed to buy pizza anywhere else,” McGovern joked. “I felt like it was a little over-the-top that people were saying it is offensive. It’s a symbol of our country. It’s non-political and for people in a small town trying to get a small business shut down is a little outrageous. People should be supporting small business, not trying to get them shut down.”
SUNY did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last month, Rep. Mimi Walters (R., Calif.) called out her opponent’s supporters for stealing and destroying yard signs. A few weeks ago, Minnesota state representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm after seeing a man destroying Republican yard signs.
What do you think? Regardless of the outcome of the larceny charge, will Ebert be punished by the university or hailed a champion in the new era of academic ethics?