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W.Va. councilman is asked to resign

November 11, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - Saying the controversy surrounding Martinsburg City Councilman Frank Idoni has created a "negative reflection on our city," Mayor George Karos and City Council members Wednesday night asked him to resign.

City residents have complained about Idoni and he was charged last month with spitting on and punching a teenager during a fight.

Local business owners and residents have complained that Idoni has an abrasive, threatening and argumentative attitude.

Karos asked for Idoni's resignation as he read a statement during a City Council meeting.

"Council members are aware of the issues, both public and private, that have arisen from Mr. Idoni's actions, within his ward during the first few months of his term in office as well as his actions toward various city departments," Karos said in his statement.

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Karos said he has met with Idoni at least three times to explain city administrative procedures and how an elected official should conduct himself.

Karos referred to a petition that was presented to the City Council on Oct. 14. The petition, which contained 175 signatures, asks that Idoni be removed from office.

"With the issues, the citizens petition, the continued disregard for elected official and administrative procedures as well as discussions with citizens we represent, it should be noted that this council and myself, as mayor, do not condone the actions of the councilman from Ward 5, Mr. Idoni," Karos said in his statement.

"This council and city cannot continue to tolerate these actions, which are not only a negative reflection on our city locally, but also statewide. Other council members and I want to publicly apologize to the citizens of Martinsburg for the embarrassment Councilman Idoni has caused the city through his actions," Karos said in the statement.

Council members unanimously supported Karos' statement in a roll call vote.

When asked for his vote, councilman Don Anderson said, "yes, yes, yes."

Idoni was not at the meeting and could not be reached for comment after the meeting.

Karos said after the meeting that the call for Idoni's resignation is separate from the petition calling for Idoni's removal.

"I personally felt we needed to respond locally," Karos said.

The first step in considering the petition is to make sure the people who signed it are city residents and are registered to vote. City Recorder Sharon Flick is conducting that work, Karos said.

Idoni defeated 14-year Councilman Glenville Twigg by four votes in June.

Martinsburg Police Department Sgt. John Sherman charged Idoni with a misdemeanor count of battery on Oct. 13, stemming from a fight on Friday, Oct. 8.

Idoni said he was defending himself.

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