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 already been set for 11 a.m. on Jan. 12.
Allen twice asked the charging attorney if he would like to request bond, and twice, the prosecutor said he didn’t think bond needed to be set.
Pugh faces charges stemming from an altercation that occurred after a council meeting on Dec. 2. That evening’s council meeting ended with a heated discussion about videotaping council meetings.
Pugh stormed out of the meeting prior to adjournment after shouting at council member Larry Fotovich.
After the meeting, Pugh allegedly drove to Fotovich’s house, which is located in the same neighborhood as his own, and put Fotovich in a headlock. At that point, Fotovich removed a video camera from his pocket and started recording the altercation.
Fotovich alleges in a protection from stalking order that Pugh then “tackled” him in an effort to take away the camera.
Pugh resigned from the council after the District Attorney’s Office filed charges related to the altercation.
The protection from stalking order remains in effect.
— Danedri Thompson