Ice cream shop owner may be going down rocky road with Trump sign

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A Port Jefferson ice cream shop is caught up in a not-so-sweet controversy over a sign.

Roger Rutherford, the manager of the ice cream shop in Port Jefferson Village, says the owner of the building put up the sign last Tuesday in support of President Donald Trump during the impeachment process.

However, village officials say the sign is too big and violates village code.

“It's not necessarily what the sign says. It's basically the size and substance of the banner itself. It's an illegal sign,” says Village Mayor Margot Garant.

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This is not the first time the owner, George Wallace, who would not speak to News 12, has been ordered to take down a large Trump sign. Back in 2017, the Village of Port Jeff ordered Wallace twice to take down Trump banners because the signs violated code.

Wallace cooperated at the time.

Rutherford, who spoke on behalf of the owner, says the sign will stay up this time.

“This is Wallace's free speech right. I think the village is treading on very thin lines there, forcing Mr. Wallace to take his sign down when he's executing his free speech right,” Rutherford says.

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Rutherford supports the sign and claims most of his customers do as well.

“We've had people coming in, come in through the lot all day long, taking pictures, showing support,” Rutherford says.

Village officials say Wallace has until the end of the day Wednesday to take the sign down or face fines. If the sign is not removed, the village says the owner of the building could face fines of up to $2,000 a day.

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