News Articles


About Me
Photo Gallery
News Articles


Here is a good place to read up on important issues that involve Gordon and the community. Articles with links at the bottom of page.

Campaign sign caught on tape.

Maletta said he knew nothing about city property used for his re - election efforts.

Campaign sign caught on tape.



Maletta said he knew nothing about city property used for his re - election efforts. PORTAGE -- Mayor Sammie Maletta was scrambling Friday to explain what three employees of the Water Reclamation Department were doing the day before when constructing one of his re-election signs on city property and on a city-owned trailer. The group was caught on videotape just before 4 p.m. Thursday outside the city sewer department by local cable television show host Gordon Bloyer and City Council candidate Lee McGill, who said they were tipped off by a city employee."That was done without my knowledge," Maletta said of the sign construction. Shedding light on the happenings was Hartzell Scofield, a City Council candidate and member of Maletta's re-election committee, who works as a supervisor at the Water Reclamation Department. What he knew is that the three employees, identified as Keith Elliott, Willie Urquidi and Wes Simon, had intended to use a private truck to pick up the Maletta sign from the local RI-CO Signs company after they punched out of work at 3 p.m. Thursday. After Scofield went home, the group picked up the sign and returned to the sewer department building just east of Hamstrom Road.The men then attached the sign to a wooden structure they had built at the sewer department that day and the entire structure was atop a small, two-wheel trailer that is owned by the city, Scofield said. They had intended to transport the sign to the entrance of the Portage Mall, where it was to point out Maletta's campaign office. While the sign structure was built on city property, Scofield said that it was constructed on the men's off time and with their own wood. "These guys volunteered to do that on their own time because they support the mayor," Scofield said. As far as the trailer goes, Scofield said that it was a piece of junk that was rebuilt and used by everyone at the department. "It is technically a piece of city equipment," he said. The effort to move the sign to the mall was stopped when Bloyer and McGill pulled up after receiving a call from someone concerned about the activities. Bloyer and McGill shot some video and then returned 15 minutes later to find the trailer empty. City Council member Donna Pappas visited the building later that evening with Scofield, out of concern that the signs were being made on site by city employees. She could not be reached Friday, but Scofield said that she was satisfied that no such work was under way. Maletta said that he knew that a sign was to be installed at the entrance of the mall, yet had no idea it was being built on city property and hauled on a city-owned trailer. Neither did he realize the large size of the sign, which he said could not have legally been posted at the mall. "I really don't condone that kind of stuff," he said of the events of the day before. While Scofield expected some backlash as the supervisor of the employees, Maletta did not say specifically how he planned to respond. "I'll take care of it," he said.

Home | About Me | Interests | Favorites | Photo Gallery | Feedback | Sammie | News Articles

This site was last updated 11/23/07