STOW — A trial for a city councilman facing a charge following an incident with the mayor is scheduled for later this month.
City Councilman Bob Adaska will be tried on a charge of disorderly conduct, a minor misdemeanor, at 9 a.m. April 26 before Stow Municipal Court Magistrate John W. Clark.
Adaska pleaded not guilty to the offense in an arraignment before Stow Municipal Court Judge Kim Hoover on Tuesday morning, according to court records.
Adaska is facing the charge after Mayor Sara Kline alleged that Adaska pushed her following a City Council meeting last month. Adaska has denied the allegation.
George Keith, Adaska’s attorney, did not respond to a message seeking comment by press time.
The charge was filed April 3 following an investigation by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
“Our detective conducted an investigation including reviewing video and conducting interviews,” said Summit County Sheriff’s Office inspector Bill Holland. “He reviewed the case with the special prosecutor and determined to summons (Adaska) into Stow Municipal Court on a charge of disorderly conduct.”
According to Stow Law Director Amber Zibritosky, the investigation was turned over to the Sheriff’s Office “to avoid any conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety,” because as mayor, Kline is the city’s safety director and “is in the direct chain of command for the Police Department.”
Barberton Assistant Law Director Michelle Banbury will handle the prosecution of the case, according to Zibritosky.
A probable cause affidavit in the case states that at the end of the March 22 Stow City Council meeting Adaska “grabbed” the mayor and “pushed her.”
“The victim immediately alerted others in the room of the incident and filed a police report with the Stow Police Department,” the affadavit states. “No one present at the meeting witnessed the incident but, the incident was recorded on surveillance camera. Mr. Adaska denied grabbing (the victim).”
Surveillance video released by the city of Stow March 27 shows the confrontation between Kline and Adaska.
But while it does not conclusively show whether Adaska shoved Kline, an enhanced version of the video clearly shows Adaska making contact with the mayor and the mayor taking steps back.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.