County committee to consider complaints against Supervisor on Dec. 12

*This story will be updated

By BrandiĀ  Makuski

After nearly an hour in closed session, a Portage County committee on Tuesday decided to address a series of complaints against one of its Supervisors during a public meeting next week.

The Executive/Operations Committee on Tuesday heard about an hour of public comment from concerned residents, then entered into closed session to discuss its options with a third-party lawyer from the county’s insurance company.

Five area residents have filed complaints outlining 11 incidents since June 2022 alleging that first-termĀ  Supervisor Dave Peterson (D25), in the course of his duties as chairman of the county’s Land and Water Conservation Committee, violated a county ordinance or the county’s code of conduct.

The committee, known informally as LAWCON, has been the scene of heated debate over clean water concerns in the village of Nelsonville, and is the progenitor of the complaints.

The complaints allege that Peterson ignored information, “harassed the county water specialist,” and repeatedly yelled at or berated people at the meetings, threatening in at least one instance to have a person removed from the room.

Portage Co. Board Chairman Al Haga, who also chairs the Executive/Operations Committee, said on Dec. 5 that each of the complaints will be decided publicly beginning at 1 p.m. on Dec. 12 in Conference Room 5 of the Portage Co. Annex, 1462 Strongs Ave.

“We’ll have to evaluate each complaint individually, which is why we decided to start at 1 p.m. because it’ll take awhile, maybe two, three, four hours,” Haga said Tuesday night.