Property appraiser's wife accused of swiping opponent's campaign sign

Jerry Holland was re-elected Wednesday, besting challenger Kurt Kraft

By Erik Avanier - Reporter, Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A day after a citywide election in which Republican Jerry Holland was re-elected as Duval County's property appraiser, sources confirmed to News4Jax that the politician's wife was accused of swiping a campaign sign belonging to her husband's opponent, Kurt Kraft.

According to Kraft, a Democrat, the sign was taken Saturday from outside the Stein Mart located on Atlantic Boulevard. The sign, which was equipped with a GPS device, was tracked to Queen's Harbour, a gated community.

Kraft said about 20 of his campaign signs were stolen weeks ago. It's unclear if the thefts are related.

"I’m tired of people stealing my signs," Kraft said. "It is illegal, and the people, the citizens of Duval County, deserve a lot better."

Holland lives in Queen's Harbour with his wife, Beverly. A source told News4Jax that Beverly Holland was listed on the police report as the suspect.

Kraft said he ran an honest campaign and was tired of his signs being stolen so he attached tracking devices to four of them and got a signal last weekend that one was being moved. He said he called police when the tracker went off and he was surprised to learn where investigators found it.

The sign was not at Holland’s house but had been dumped nearby.

“I was shocked. I was floored. I talk to people and they’re very upset,” Kraft said.

In response to the accusation, Jerry Holland admitted to News4Jax that his wife had taken the sign and released the following brief statement about her:

“She regrets what happened, and the emotions of the campaign got the best of her."

Holland said he was not involved and was at The Players Championship when the theft happened. He said his wife was captured on surveillance video removing the sign, and News4Jax learned that video has been turned over to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Holland said in a text message Thursday to a News4Jax reporter: "Would be glad to talk to you when the matter is resolved."

Holland coasted to a second term with nearly two-thirds of the vote.

The head of the State Attorney’s Office special prosecution unit is looking into the case, News4Jax has learned, and Beverly Holland was issued a notice to appear in court. She has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

“Theft is theft. Thievery is thievery,” Kraft said. “I am on public record, and I filed a police report with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.”

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.