Councilman Chris Morrow is calling on Mayor Dave Drovetta and Councilman Dennis Pugh to resign following an argument that started during Monday night’s council meeting and escalated into an altercation in front of Councilman Larry Fotovich’s house.
Pugh allegedly followed Fotovich home after the meeting and accosted him.
“Considering the ongoing intimidation tactics that seem to be employed by the mayor and most recently Dennis Pugh, first at council meetings and now following people to their homes in hopes of intimidating elected officials, I have to ask Councilman Pugh and Mayor Drovetta to resign,” Morrow told The Gardner News.
Morrow said he will request the resignations this week.
Attempts to acquire a copy of the incident report from the Gardner Police Department were unsuccessful at press time.
Ilena Spalding, public information officer for the Gardner Police Department, said the only information being released is that officers responded to a disturbance at Fotovich’s home at 9:50 p.m.
Information was taken from both parties for a report that will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office for possible charges.
Neither Fotovich, Pugh nor Drovetta returned phone calls seeking comment.
However, Pugh admitted in an online blog that he “tackled” Fotovich as he was “reaching into his pocket.”
The item Fotovich was reaching for was a video camera.
Pugh allegedly then took the camera from Fotovich and Fotovich called the police.
Tension between Pugh and Fotovich reached a boiling point earlier in the evening during a discussion about whether to videotape council meetings.
The discussion ended with Pugh telling Fotovich to “shut up” and then said, “I’d drag you into the back room and beat the shit out of you.”
Pugh then stormed out of the room and left the building, slamming doors on his way out.
“I know you were the kid who got picked on on the playground,” Mayor Dave Drovetta told Fotovich at the conclusion of the meeting. “And that’s why you act the way you do.”
Council member Chris Morrow told The Gardner News he was “troubled” by the incident.
“I find it troubling that an issue that should have been about transparency to the residents of the city turned into bullying efforts on the part of councilman Pugh and (Mayor) Drovetta.
“Four out of five council members have all supported recording council meetings since May of this year. Kristy Harrison and Brian Broxterman have been calling for meetings to be recorded since the fall of 2010.”
Pugh is the only council member to oppose recording council meetings.