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3/7/2018 6:10:00 PM
ACLU files suit over 'not my mayor' sign in Randolph County

Mickey Shuey, Palladium-Item Business Reporter

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana last week filed suit against Randolph County in response to its demand for a Winchester resident to remove from her yard a sign expressing opposition of an elected official in her city.

Betty Ashley, of the 400 block of S. Meridian St., has had a four-by-four-foot sign in her front yard that reads, "Shon Byrum is not my mayor," in all-caps for the past several months.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in federal district court in Indianapolis, alleges Randolph County's Area Planning Commission sent Ashley a letter telling her to remove the sign from her yard after receiving a complaint from an unidentified neighbor, who described the sign as "tacky ... (and) negative for our city" and casting a negative light on an elected official.

►READ: Complaint filed against Randolph County by Winchester resident

The commission gave Ashley 14 days to remove the sign from her property — ending this Friday — after which she could face enforcement action and fines for violating the county's Unified Zoning Ordinance.

Ashley declined multiple requests for comment for this story, instead referring a Palladium-Item reporter to ACLU Indiana's senior staff attorney, Gavin Rose.

Rose said the organization views the ordinance as a violation of Ashley's First Amendment rights.

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