Princeton Professor Accepts Community Service Deal for Lawn Sign Caper


A professor at Princeton University who was arrested for stealing lawn signs from a local computer business has agreed to do community service hours in the Trenton Public Schools District in exchange for theft charges being dropped.

Princeton resident John Mulvey, who teaches operations research and financial engineering at the university, must do 120 hours of community service in Trenton this academic year as punishment for taking 21 lawn signs advertising Princeton Computer Repairs and Tutoring. Originally the prosecutor asked for 100 hours of community service, but the judge increased the number to 120. Mulvey originally wanted to do the community service in Princeton and not in Trenton.

No formally apology was made to the business owner and Mulvey did not comment after the hearing. The judge ordered Mulvey not to contact the business owner, Ted Horodynsky, directly or indirectly.

This July, Horodynsky provided police and prosecutors with videotapes of Mulvey taking lawn signs. Police recovered  21 signs when they went to the professor’s house. Mulvey previously argued that the signs were in the public right of way, rather than private property. Horodynsky said he had permission from the homeowners to place the signs on their properties. Horodynsky claimed the lawn sign thefts were retaliation for a driving incident in which he allegedly cut off Mulvey.