An Orange Township trustee says she plans to file a complaint after the township’s fiscal officer summoned sheriff’s deputies to the township hall where she was talking to a constituent in the parking lot after trustees’ June 20 meeting.
Trustee Lisa Knapp said that on the next day she requested a copy of the call placed to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, and she said the voice placing the call was that of Joel Spitzer, the township’s fiscal officer.
Spitzer said he made the call because he feared that juveniles might be vandalizing township property.
The Gazette obtained a recording of the call to the sheriff’s office. The caller did not identify himself nor did he want to meet with a deputy at the scene.
“I’m planning to file a report for a false police report,” Knapp said.
After the trustees’ meeting, Knapp said she was standing on the sidewalk outside of the township hall, talking with Craig Young about the meeting that evening. Trustees and Spitzer had just had a heated discussion about “checks and balances” in regard to township spending.
The meeting ended at 9:38 p.m. The sheriff’s office was called at 10:41 p.m.
While Knapp and Young were talking, a car pulled into the drive of the parking lot but the driver turned around and left. “A car stopped and paused with its lights shining at us,” Knapp said.
Knapp said she didn’t think anything of it because it might have been someone going to the park behind the hall. However, according to Knapp, the same car pulled in again 20 minutes later, and its lights were on Knapp and Young again. The driver of the car then turned around and left.
Knapp said that after the car left the second time, a deputy in a sheriff’s cruiser drove into the parking lot a few minutes later. Knapp said the deputy was there to investigate a call of suspicious activity.
Spitzer does not deny making the call to the sheriff’s office but said he was not in the car that Knapp saw.
Spitzer said he was out running late the night of June 20 when he saw two cars in the township hall’s parking lot that looked “suspicious” to him.
Spitzer said he made the call to the sheriff’s office because of past vandalism in the park behind the township hall by juveniles. He said the gazebo had been set on fire on a previous occasion.
Spitzer told The Gazette a white truck that he didn’t recognize was parked in the lot that night. He also said he was unaware that Knapp and Young were still there talking on the sidewalk.
“I didn’t know who it was or whose car it was and I didn’t see anybody standing outside,” Spitzer said.
A deputy responded to the call and talked to Knapp before he left at 10:45 p.m. No charges were filed.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin