She's also a rabid Trump supporter. On Election Eve, she plastered West Easton with Trump signs. She was even spotted using a ladder to make it difficult to remove these signs from telephone poles. In her enthusiasm for The Donald, she got carried away and began placing Trump over street signs about parking and snow emergency routes.
Since West Easton has no police force and she's the only constable in town, she no doubt thought she was home free.
Enter the Pennsylvania State Police. Though they ignore local ordinances, they do enforce the Vehicle Code, and cited her for littering on November 7.
It's no secret that I have little regard for Donald Trump. Even less for Tricia "Constable cRaZy" Mezzacappa. But this charge bothers me. She was engaged in pure political speech, on the eve of an election. So any accusation of criminal behavior, even as a summary offense, should be carefully reviewed.
Here's the statute that Mezzacappa is alleged to have violated.
"No person shall throw or deposit, upon any highway, or upon any other public or private property without the consent of the owner thereof or into or on the waters of this Commonwealth from a vehicle, any waste paper, sweepings, ashes, household waste, glass, metal, refuse or rubbish, or any dangerous or detrimental substance."If she was seen throwing tape or waste paper on the street or on someone else's property, that's littering. But it's a stretch to conclude that a Trump sign is "waste paper, sweepings, ashes, household waste, glass, metal, refuse or rubbish, or any dangerous or detrimental substance."
This is one of the charges that Cupcake Trachta brought against the execrable Sticker Gang, who decorated Nazareth with tiny "FT (Fire Trachta)" stickers two summers ago. Everyone thought it was funny but the Chief of Police. Attorneys Gary Asteak, Phil Lauer and Mark Minotti successfully argued those stickers were not waste paper or rubbish, but pure political speech. That same argument applies even more in the context of a Trump sign that was put in place the day before a presidential election.
I have not seen the citation so am unaware of the factual circumstances. But if it is purely over her ill-considered placement of Trump signs, that's free speech. I'd agree that she should not mar road signs, but the PSP charged her with littering.
Ironically, Mezzacappa was a vicious critic of the sticker gang and wanted them all beheaded. But their willingness to stand up for their rights might now benefit her because free speech is her right, too.