February 10, 2016

Pugh case diverted from prosecution

Danedri Thompson dthompson@gardnernews.com The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office granted Dennis Pugh’s diversion request last week. The former Gardner City Council member was charged with assaulting fellow council member Larry Fotovich following a heated council meeting. He also faced a charge of criminal deprivation of property. The diversion agreement requires Pugh to meet with an Continue Reading

Council approves Pugh replacement

Danedri Thompson dthompson@gardnernews.com Heath Freeman will replace Dennis Pugh on the Gardner City Council. Council members, in a 3-1 vote, approved Mayor Dave Drovetta’s appointment to the council, but not before council member Larry Fotovich asked Freeman a number of questions. Eight people ran for three seats on the council last April, Freeman was not Continue Reading

Pugh appears in court; added to diversion docket

Dennis Pugh, who resigned from the Gardner City Council after being charged with battery and criminal deprivation of property, has applied for diversion. “As I understand, it is being granted,” his attorney, Mark Lewis, told the court Jan. 12. Pugh allegedly battered council member Larry Fotovich following an argument about videotaping council proceedings at a Continue Reading

Pugh enters not guilty plea

Former Gardner City Council member Dennis Pugh pleaded not guilty to battery and criminal deprivation of property. His attorney, Mark Lewis, Gardner, asked that the case be set aside for 45 days as the district attorney’s office considers Pugh’s request for diversion. Judge Pro Tem Joshua Allen denied that request as a court date has Continue Reading

Residents address council about meeting dysfunction

Danedri Thompson dthompson@gardnernews.com A subdued city council listened as three citizens, including the former mayor, asked that council members learn to work together with civility. “You have a chance from this moment on to change the tenor of these council meetings,” former Mayor Carol Lehman told members. “The code of conduct is a good step, Continue Reading

Council member Dennis Pugh resigns

The Gardner City Council meeting will be one council member short this evening. Council member Dennis Pugh this morning tendered his resignation effective immediately. “I wish you and the magnificent city staff all the best,” Pugh wrote in an email to Mayor Dave Drovetta. “Please know that I did not come to this decision lightly, Continue Reading

Pugh charged with battery, criminal deprivation of property

The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against Gardner City Council member Dennis Pugh for criminal deprivation of property and battery for an alleged altercation that occurred between Pugh and council member Larry Fotovich after a council meeting on Nov. 21. Pugh is scheduled for arraignment at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 3.  The Continue Reading

Pugh served with protection order

Danedri Thompson dthompson@gardnernews.com Sheriff’s deputies served Gardner City Council member Dennis Pugh with a temporary protection from stalking order on Nov. 29. The order prevents Pugh from following, harassing or contacting city council member Larry Fotovich or entering or being near Fotovich’s residence. The order, issued by Johnson County District Court, does not prohibit Pugh Continue Reading

UPDATED: Pugh will not resign

Danedri Thompson dthompson@gardnernews.com Council member Dennis Pugh doesn’t plan to resign, at least that’s the word from two emails Pugh sent after a council meeting last Monday. “I will gladly tender my resignation right behind the resignation of Mr. Fotovich,” Pugh wrote in an email to council member Chris Morrow. Morrow asked for Pugh’s resignation Continue Reading

Francis explains police department’s arrest policy

Mark Taylor mtaylor@gardnernews.com Many Gardner News readers are asking why no arrests were made after Councilman Dennis Pugh allegedly assaulted fellow Councilman Larry Fotovich following Monday night’s council meeting. According to Chief Kenneth Francis of the Gardner Police Department, police officers only have authority to make arrests when they witness a crime. If an officer Continue Reading