Former RI state rep. arrested in political sign theft

Police Photo: Brian Coogan accused of stealing campaign signs from a neighbor's yard.
Police Photo: Brian Coogan accused of stealing campaign signs from a neighbor's yard.

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A former state representative from East Providence is facing charges after he was accused of trying to steal the political signs of another candidate.

According to police, Brian Coogan and an unidentified woman tried to take down signs for City Council candidate Bruce Rogers. The two allegedly attempted to steal lawn and fence signs from a house on Summit St.

East Providence police say a witness positively identified Coogan from a photo lineup. Coogan was arrested on Monday but refused to give a statement. Police said he agreed to turn himself in to Providence District Court on Tuesday, where he was arraigned on several misdemeanor charges including attempted larceny, receiving stolen goods and conspiracy.

Coogan denied any wrongdoing in an interview with the Providence Journal.

“I’m not going to go and steal political signs,” Coogan said. “I’m 46. I have five children. That’s stuff that kids do.”

In the September Democratic primary, Coogan was defeated by Helder Cunha for the House seat in District 64.