Ft. Bend ISD board member accused of stealing political signs

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by Marcelino Benito / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 5, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 6 at 8:57 AM

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas -- A current school board member is facing allegations he stole another candidate's campaign signs, and it was all caught on camera.

Drive through Fort Bend County and you'll see the campaign signs are sprinkled strategically across the area.

"It's not OK to steal someone's signs," said Kris Allfrey.

It's also illegal. Allfrey is a candidate running to become Fort Bend ISD's newest school board member. He noticed one of the signs he'd put up at a vacant lot owned by Helfman Ford had been snatched, twice.

"I thought maybe a supporter of one of my opponents or someone that didn't like me," said Allfrey.

But whoever was stealing those signs was in for a surprise. No one knew Kris Allfrey had installed a camera up in a tree, and it was aimed right at his signs.

The camera caught an unlikely person snatching the sign, current FBISD trustee Bruce Albright.

"It was totally shocking," said Allfrey. "He was the one taking my sign."

Shocking because Albright and Allfrey are running for two different seats.

"He thinks he's above the law and that he doesn't follow the rules," said Allfrey.

So Allfrey took these photos and filed a complaint with Meadows Place Police. Albright was questioned and on the phone with KHOU on Monday admitted he took the sign, but only because it was on private property owned by Albright's employer Helfman Ford.

Albright claimed Allfrey had not permission to put it there. He agreed to answer our questions later in the day.

“He made a mistake and now he’s trying to create a story that’s not really a story," said Allfrey. "I got permission to have the sign there.”

And Allfrey can prove it. A letter from Helfman Ford backs up his claims. When we tried to show Albright that letter, he cancelled our scheduled interview.

Allfrey says the community deserves an apology.

"I think it very much is personal," said Allfrey. "We don't want our community or our students to believe that's okay."

When Albright didn't show up for KHOU's interview, we stopped by his office at Helfman Ford to give him a chance to speak, but he refused.

Meadow's Place Police say they are investigating and do expect to file charges in this case soon.

Jim Rice, President for Fort Bend ISD's Board of Trustees released this statement in response to the allegations:

"As you know, this school board election has 11 candidates vying for three board seats, all of whom, I am sure, are quite passionate about issues relating to our school district. Although I am aware of the incident involving a sitting board member, I am not aware of any charges having been filed, and it would be improper for me to comment while this matter is being considered by local authorities.

It is my hope that all candidates comply with all election laws and that whoever wins brings the same passion that they have demonstrated in their campaigns to the work of educating the children of this community. I am looking forward to election day next Saturday, May 10, when the voters will speak on who they wish to serve them on the school board and we can get back to the business of educating our children."

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