Woman accused of impersonating city official - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Woman accused of impersonating city official, interfering with campaign

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STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. -

A heated political campaign has landed a Stockbridge woman behind bars.

Police say that Sahar Hekmati was impersonating a city employee and threatening business owners who showed support for certain mayoral candidates.

Candidate Vanessa Holiday said she anticipated losing campaign signs, but was stunned to learn someone impersonated the city's code enforcement officer demanding a photography studio, nail salon and Mexican restaurant take down her signs or face a fine of $500.

Holiday said she learned of the interference from the real code enforcement officer.

"She came out to do an investigation. She gave them her ID and let them know that it was not her that removed those signs," Holiday said.

Henry County police arrested Hekmati, a local businesswoman, and charged her with impersonating a public official. Police say the charge, depending on the severity, can be interpreted as either a misdemeanor or felony and is punishable by up to a year to five years in jail and/or a fine of $1,000.

Authorities don't know if Hekmati she is connected to any campaign. Stockbridge's mayor told FOX 5's George Franco that she is not connected to his campaign. Police are also looking into reports that some other signs were stolen.

Holiday said that she plans on pressing charges because the signs were paid for with donations from supporters.

The election for Stockbridge's mayor and City Council positions will be held next month.

The district attorney's office will determine whether to prosecute the case as a misdemeanor or felony.

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