Rhode Island Man Renews Sign Campaign Against Town

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man involved in a legal tussle with the town of Portsmouth earlier this year over signs on his property critical of town officials is back at it.

Michael DiPaola recently bought a plot of land on a busy road on which he placed more signs, including one that includes a picture of actors Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as Lloyd and Harry from the movie “Dumb and Dumber,” and complaining of “corruption, selective enforcement, conflict of interest and harassment," The Newport Daily News reported Thursday.

DiPaola, a real estate developer, says the town selectively enforces zoning codes.

“They will crucify me, but they will let other people get away with anything,” DiPaola said. “It’s selective enforcement, it’s favoritism."

Town Administrator Richard Rainer Jr. denies that the town selectively enforces its rules, and while he considers the signs "reprehensible," he says there's not much the town can do about them.

DiPaola, with the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island, sued the town in January, saying his free speech rights were violated when the town ordered him to remove his signs. The suit was settled in his favor in April.