Former Janesville City Council member demands apology over blog posts

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Friday, July 1, 2011
— Former Janesville City Council member Frank Perrotto is demanding a public apology from Councilman Yuri Rashkin as their squabble escalates.

Perrotto filed an open records request for Raskhin’s online communications during Monday’s televised council meeting.

Rashkin later this week wrote on his blog that he must sort through 45,000 emails, not to mention Facebook postings and text messages, because of Perrotto’s request.

Perrotto, in turn, was angry that Rashkin posted Perrotto’s name on the blog. He said Rashkin did so to rile up his supporters and humiliate Perrotto.

Perrotto asked City Manager Eric Levitt via email to intercede on his behalf. Perrotto wants an apology from Rashkin in the newspaper and on his blog admitting his “shameful actions.” If not, Perrotto said he would consult with his attorney.

“It is quite clear to me that his objective was to rile up and mobilize his believers to generate ridicule of my simple request to ask for his records of city activity which does not appear and is not accessible through the city website,” Perrotto said. “I believe that is the right of any citizen.

“I am very concerned that my wife and I will become the source of public condemnation through phone calls and comments in the paper by his believers, which may cause us stress and humiliation. This comment was totally unnecessary and clearly was done in an attempt to damage my good name.”

Perrotto said he is going through Levitt because Perrotto doesn’t trust Rashkin enough to talk to him. Perrotto said he doesn’t know what might end up on Rashkin’s blog.

Levitt could not be reached from comment.

When contacted by the Gazette, Rashkin sounded surprised at Perrotto’s reaction to Rashkin’s posting.

“Frank Perrotto is demanding an apology, now?” Rashkin said. “For what?”

The open records request is causing Rashkin and the city headaches and money, Rashkin said.

Rashkin said he wishes Perrotto would be more specific about what he wants to see to save Rashkin time.

“I’d love to give him whatever he wants,” Rashkin said. “I just have to understand what he’s looking for.”

Rashkin said he is not angry with Perrotto.

“This is not the kind of person I am. I move forward. I always move forward.”

Perrotto said bad feelings linger between the two, and he blames Rashkin for his loss in the April election.

Days before the election, Rashkin walked out of a business banquet before Gov. Scott Walker spoke. Rashkin joined protesters outside.

Perrotto sent an email to Rashkin chastising his behavior. Rashkin threatened to post the email online if Perrotto did not apologize. Perrotto didn’t apologize, and Rashkin posted the email.

The exchange was forwarded to teacher union members, although Rashkin on Thursday corrected earlier news reports, saying he was not the one who did that.

“If he could explain to me what he wants an apology for, I always … I don’t hold grudges,” Rashkin said. “If he feels I wronged him in some way and help him move forward, you know.

“Gosh, this is just something I don’t want to obsess over.”

Last updated: 5:59 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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