Lake Geneva alderman cited for disorderly conduct

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Kayla Bunge
Saturday, November 1, 2008
— Alderman Tom Spellman has been cited for disorderly conduct following accusations he yelled at the city clerk July 25.

Spellman, 64, is accused of getting “very angry” with City Clerk Diana Dykstra for not putting an item on a meeting agenda as he requested, according to police reports.

Dykstra, 35, told police Spellman called her regarding an item he had requested be placed on a meeting agenda. She explained why it wasn’t on the agenda, that she had conferred with the city administrator and the mayor and that it would be placed on a future agenda, according to police reports.

Dykstra told police Spellman started yelling. She asked him to stop screaming. She said if he didn’t stop screaming, she would hang up the phone, according to police reports.

Assistant Municipal Court Clerk Sabrina Waswo told police Dykstra removed her telephone earpiece and held it out. She said she couldn’t make out what Spellman was saying, but she could hear him screaming.

“Can you believe this is an alderman talking to me like this?” Dykstra said, according to police reports.

Dykstra told police she put the earpiece back on and told Spellman he would need to talk to City Administrator Dennis Jordan. When she ran into his office and handed him the earpiece, the phone call was disconnected, according to police reports.

Dykstra told police Spellman sent her an e-mail Aug. 3 to apologize for raising his voice. But he also wrote that she needed to “go back to the (municipal code) and read what (her) duties are relative to the agenda for (city) council meetings,” according to police reports.

Spellman told police he did not scream at Dykstra. He said he was frustrated about the agenda and when he gets that way, his voice raises, according to police reports.

The district attorney’s office filed the citation against Spellman in Walworth County Court on Oct. 9. Spellman’s initial appearance was Wednesday, and he is scheduled to be back in court Friday, Nov. 21.

Spellman wrote in a press release that he pleaded not guilty to the disorderly conduct charge saying it’s “harassment.”

“When I telephoned, I was upset that the clerk had failed to do her job,” he wrote in the release. “I let her know that it was her job and that the city administrator and the mayor do not control the placement of items on the agenda that have been properly presented to the clerk!”

Spellman faces a fine of up to $1,000.

Dykstra declined to comment when reached by The Janesville Gazette.

Last updated: 11:01 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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