Elmwood Place mayor-elect charged with threatening current mayor at council meeting

Elmwood Place mayor-elect charged with threatening current mayor at council meeting
William Wilson (FOX19 NOW/Gordon Graham)
William Wilson (FOX19 NOW/Gordon Graham)

ELMWOOD PLACE, OH (FOX19) - Elmwood Place Vice Mayor William Wilson, who won election for the mayor's race Tuesday night, is accused of threatening the current mayor at a council meeting.

Wilson, 45, was charged this week with misdemeanor menacing and is scheduled to appear before a judge Nov. 20. He was not physically arrested.

According to court records, Mayor Jerald Robertson, 80, told Elmwood Place police he believed Wilson, 45, would physically harm him in council chambers at the town hall off Vine Street on Oct. 27.

"As council was convening, Wilson started shouting at me," Robertson wrote Sunday in a sworn affidavit filed with Hamilton County Municipal Court.

"He was going to tear off my head, kick my -ss and sue me," the statement reads. "He looked very mad and so I turned my back on him so I would not reply to him. Others in the room were looking at us. The Chief sitting nearby caution (sic) him! I convened the council shutting him up."

In an interview Wednesday, Wilson acknowledged he confronted Robertson as the two sat beside each other just before the meeting began. But, he said, there are "major discrepancies" in Robertson's sworn statement.

"The mayor was going around spreading a malicious rumor. I am not going to go into detail. A very, very severe rumor," he said. "I confronted him over it and his exact words to me were 'I can say exactly what I want about someone during election time.'"

Robertson said he stands by his sworn statement.

"We were getting ready to convene council and he basically started shouting at me," Robertson said, adding that he was surprised. "I certainly didn't expect it."

He said he did not fear for his safety at first, but has since changed his mind.

"Initially I wasn't," Robertson said. "But reviewing some of his history, I did take it serious. From my standpoint about it, I am not spreading a rumor about him. I don't know what set him off on this."

Police Chief William Peskin confirmed Wednesday morning he was at the council meeting.

The chief said Wilson was not arrested right away because Robertson "wasn't sure what to do and was shocked."

"Then he convened the meeting," the chief recalled. "It happened so fast, the threat, and then he started the council meeting immediately to stop the confrontation."

Peskin confirmed he warned Wilson to stop.

"I said 'you are committing a crime. You need to stop that behavior.'"

Peskin said he doesn't plan to refer the criminal case against the current vice mayor who now is the mayor-elect - and his boss - to an outside police agency. Wilson won Tuesday's election, receiving 74.30 percent of the vote.

"It wasn't serous enough for me to refer to the (Hamilton County) sheriff's department," the chief said. "We like to save those requests for serious events."

Even though the alleged incident occurred inside council chambers, it was not recorded, he said.

"Normally the council chambers is video and audio recorded, but the clerk said the video hasn't been recording for about a month and a half. There was a power outage and nobody ever reset the unit to record. And there is no (audio) recording because the meeting hadn't started yet."

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