SUGAR NOTCH — Councilman Mario Fiorucci says a trespassing citation filed against him is nothing more than an attempt to make him look bad before today’s primary election.
Police Chief Christopher Pelchar says Fiorucci broke the law and politics has nothing to do with the citation.
Pelchar filed a trespassing citation against Fiorucci on Friday and issued a press release on Sunday alleging that Fiorucci entered the property of Paul Casey on April 27 and placed “his self-proclaimed newsletter behind Casey’s mailbox” on Casey’s front porch after Casey had told Fiorucci at a council meeting that he did not subscribe to nor want Fiorucci’s newsletter.
Pelchar said Fiorucci had asked for Casey’s address at the council meeting and wrote it down, and the exchange was witnessed by other council members, the solicitor, police and other borough residents.
Pelchar said he doesn’t file a citation against someone until he has a signed statement from the complainant, and because of conflicting schedules, it took a few weeks to obtain a statement from Casey. Still, it was well within the 90 days the law allows for the filing of a summary citation, he said.
Fiorucci said he mistakenly delivered the newsletter to Casey’s address because he got the address mixed up. When he realized his mistake, he quickly returned to Casey’s house and removed the newsletter.
As he was leaving the property, he said, Casey came outside and complained about him trespassing.
Fiorucci said he believes Pelchar was still angry about Fiorucci questioning him at a public meeting about a post on the Sugar Notch Police Association’s Facebook web page. He said Sugar Notch police cited him last June with trespassing on another person’s property for the same reason and that charge was dismissed.
“This will never hold up in court, and I know that from last year with (District Judge Rick) Cronauer. What’s the point of citing me this time except to create bad publicity for me on the eve of the election?” Fiorucci said.
But Pelchar said he was not angry with Fiorucci and held no grudge.
He said Fiorucci was “not found not guilty” before Cronauer; the trespass charge was “held in abeyance” for a period of time and dismissed after Fiorucci did not enter the resident’s property again within that time.
Pelchar said Fiorucci’s assertion that a “no trespassing” sign must be posted on a property for a citation to be issued is incorrect.
He said entering a property after receiving verbal instruction not to do so by the owner or resident constitutes a violation of the law.