The legal troubles for Sen. Bethany Hall-Long's husband, Dana, continue this week with a court appearance today.
Dana Long, Sen. Bethany Hall-Long’s husband appeared in the Court of Common Pleas on Friday, Dec. 19 to be arraigned on a charge of stealing Republican Party campaign signs in October.
A court clerk noted that mediation may be ongoing in the case, which could eliminate the need for a trial. However, on Friday, the court clerk stated that Long's appearance produced a jury trial date, set for March 26, 2015.
When asked for comment on the case, Bethany Hall-Long and the Democratic Caucus had no comment, citing the ongoing nature of the case.
Delaware Republican Party Executive Director John Fluharty said that his party "agreed to mediation several weeks ago" and are waiting to hear back from Long.
"As of his court hearing on Friday, we had not received a reply," Fluharty said.
When questioned about the ability of defendants to delay mediation and court processes, a court clerk said that delays and other matters are not typically impeded by either side of a case. Timelines are set by the court. The clerk also reiterated that a jury trial date is still in the system and set for March.
Long’s legal troubles began in late October when Republican Party members video-taped him removing campaign signs during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Oct. 29 along Del. Rt. 299 in Middletown. The video was provided to the Middletown Police Department and charges were filed.
An arrest warrant was issued and Long turned himself in to the local police department. The case was sent to the local Justice of the Peace, known as Magistrate Court #2, where Long was given an unsecured bail of $250 before being released.
The case was then moved to the Delaware Court of Common Pleas in Wilmington.
On Wednesday, Oct.29, the same day the arrest warrant was issued, Sen. Hall-Long released a statement admitting that her husband was the man in the video stealing campaign signs.
She said, “My husband is the man depicted in the video. The video shows him removing a handful of signs this morning. He turned them over to the Democratic Party and asked that they be returned to the Republican Party about six hours after they were taken up. Sadly, this race has become tough and personal. My husband is my high school sweetheart and he loves me very much. I was not aware that he had allowed his frustration over the campaign attacks to get the better of him. Of course I'm disappointed and wish that it had not happened."