Woman says son was forced to campaign after prank in Ga.

RINGGOLD, Ga. (CNN) – Mayoral candidate Paul Lee gave a 16-year-old boy who stole his campaign signs a choice: be arrested or campaign for him.

The Georgia teen's said she believed what her son did was wrong, but that the ultimatum the mayor proposed made them choose between “the lesser of two evils.” (Source: WTVC, Facebook, CNN)

According to the Ringgold Police Department, the teen stole campaign signs several weeks ago belonging to Lee.

Amy Carpenter, the boy’s mother, said her son and a friend decided to steal the sign outside of the high school. The boys and their parents returned the signs to the candidate the next day.

Carpenter said she believed what her son did was wrong, but that the ultimatum Lee proposed made them choose between “the lesser of two evils.”

The teen held a campaign sign while standing on the side of the road for three hours.

“It wasn’t really campaigning for me; it was a punishment,” Lee said. "I mean, they could cover their face with the sign, whatever, I mean, if you think about it, all they had to do was hold a sign in their hands for three hours.”

Carpenter said Lee had a right to be upset but felt that he took the consequences too far.

“It was more about public humiliation,” Carpenter said.

After hearing this, Lee stands by his decision.

“Don’t touch signs, don’t get in trouble. It’s simple. If you do the crime you have to do the time, you know?” Lee said. “That’s the way I look at it.”

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