Complaints filed against councilman

August 12, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

A new Martinsburg City Council member has been seen by several people walking up and down his neighborhood at night carrying a baseball bat, yelling at people and making threats, according to allegations in records compiled by the Martinsburg Police Department.

From June 15 to Aug. 8, five formal complaints were filed against Frank Idoni, who moved to Martinsburg two years ago from Texas.

Police have not charged Idoni with anything, but did cite him for not having a West Virginia driver's license and for driving a car without an inspection sticker. On Monday, Idoni appeared before Municipal Judge Stephen Kershner, who gave Idoni a month to obtain an inspection sticker and a state driver's license, court records show.


Idoni did not return two phone messages left at his home Wednesday and did not attend a City Council meeting Wednesday night. The matter was not discussed during the Council meeting.

Mayor George Karos said he tried to talk to Idoni several times about his actions. The first time was during the speech given to new council members about what they can and cannot do, Karos said.

After that, he spoke to him personally three times.

"First I asked and then I pleaded with him, you cannot take the law into your own hands," Karos said. "You can't circumvent the system."

Karos said that Idoni "wants things done yesterday."

Misty Page, 20, is one of several neighbors who has called police complaining about Idoni's behavior.

She said that just about every night Idoni walks around with a wooden baseball bat tucked under his arm and makes comments about the neighborhood.

"Every day he comes by and starts something else," Page said Wednesday afternoon. "Anytime anybody says anything to him ... he says, 'I can do what I want. I'm a town councilman.' He seems to think the police can't arrest him."

The first complaint was filed against Idoni on June 15, a week after he defeated Councilman Glenville Twigg by a few votes for the Ward 5 seat.

At that time, a person on North High Street called police and said Idoni identified himself as the new councilman and threatened to have the caller's driver's license taken away for driving recklessly.

Idoni allegedly pounded on the top of the caller's car as he drove by, according to a police report.

"Mr. Idoni has been advised of the proper channels to request radar patrols. Has been advised not to be yelling and stopping traffic," the police report said.

Page first called police July 26 to allege that Idoni made rude comments to people in his neighborhood and said he was going to stop drug activity and people from drinking on their porches.

When an officer responded, Idoni was told to report any alleged law violations to police, records state.

An officer "spoke with several other residents in the area who stated that Idoni frequently walks around the neighborhood while under the influence of alcohol and possibly other intoxicants," according to allegations in a police report.

On July 27, Page again called police, saying Idoni was walking around with the bat. An officer responded 20 minutes later but did not see anything amiss, records say.

Page lives on Second Street, just around the corner from Idoni's Union Avenue house.

On Aug. 4, Page's husband, Brandon Page, called police and said he was being harassed and wanted to serve no trespassing papers on Idoni.

When Brandon Page handed the no trespassing paperwork to Idoni, "Mr. Idoni refused them, stating that he could go where he wanted because he is a councilman," according to a police report about the encounter. Idoni was then told to stay off the Pages' property.

About five hours later, Brandon Page called again and said Idoni had walked past his house three times carrying the bat. Police responded nine minutes later but did not see anything, records show.

The most recent complaint came last Sunday, when an unknown person called police at nearly 11 p.m. and said Idoni was walking with the bat. The caller said Idoni "is making noises but is not saying anything," records show.

A few minutes later, someone answered the door at Idoni's house and told police that Idoni "did possibly have a bat in his possession for protection," records state.

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