Judge Rejects Castro’s Claim That Robito Supporter Stole and Defaced His Signs One Day Before Election

Tom Dugan: Sept. 7, 2016

Rich-RussellJust one day before the primary election for Sheriff, a district court judge has dismissed a criminal complaint by Essex County Sheriff’s candidate William Castro who falsely claimed that Richard Russell of Lawrence stole and damaged his campaign signs .


Russell is a volunteer for one of Castro’s democratic rivals for Sheriff, Jerry Robito.

Castro swore out a criminal complaint against Russell on August 16th, at the Lawrence Police Department alleging he had evidence against Russell as the person responsible for stealing and defacing his property. 

Castro’s false report claimed he had evidence in the form of a video. But that video only showed Russell taping a notice to his campaign sign that warned Castro that the signs were illegally placed on private property without permission. 

Castro also claimed that Russell posted a picture of a broken Castro sign on his Facebook page. 

Prior to today’s criminal hearing, Russell stated that Castro only filed the criminal complaint targeting him in order to create bad publicity for Castro’s opponent, Jerry Robito. 

“It’s false, he knows it’s false, and he filed these charges anyway,” Russell said at the time. 

Castro also posted a photo of Russell on facebook with a criminal record for another man named Richard Russell claiming it was the same person. Records show the criminal record posted were not Rich Russell from the Robito campaign. 

Russell would not speak on the record after Wednesday’s charges were dismissed saying there was a mutual agreement between he and Castro that they not speak to the press.

A source in the Lawrence police department told The Valley Patriot late Wednesday afternoon that there is almost no chance that Castro will be charged for filing a false criminal complaint against Russell.