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Arroyo Grande woman charged with vandalism of Jim Hill campaign signs

Posted at 12:18 PM, Nov 28, 2018

Charges have been filed against a woman suspected of using brown paint to vandalize Jim Hill for mayor campaign signs in Arroyo Grande back in October.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office says Patricia Welsh was charged with felony vandalism and is out on $20,000 bond; however, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office says jail logs show Welsh was never booked.

According to a search warrant obtained by KSBY News, Mayor Jim Hill contacted police the night of Oct. 9 to report vandalism on his property.

Hill told police that when putting up a sign on the 100 block of S. Halcyon Road, a woman, who he identified as Patty Welsh, yelled to him “that the sign was going to be missing later,” according to the search warrant.

The warrant went on to state that Hill said Welsh left the City Council meeting early that night and he suspected she was responsible for the vandalism.

According to the search warrant, “Welsh has a history of vandalism to private property and is a very vocal critic of Hill.”

In the early-morning hours of Oct. 10, officers went to Welsh’s home in Arroyo Grande and found a can of brown paint and a wooden stick with brown paint on it inside a trash can located on the street, according to the search warrant. The paint was reportedly a match to the paint on the campaign signs.

Police say during their investigation, detectives attempted to interview Welsh, but she was reluctant and when asked multiple questions including why she vandalized the signs, Welsh replied, “I have nothing more to say.”

Police say based on evidence at the scene, video evidence and witnesses, they requested the DA’s office file charges of felony vandalism against Welsh.

In all, 11 signs were vandalized at nine different locations.

Welsh is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 4.