PENINSULA, Ohio – Tensions boiled over at a Peninsula Village Council meeting, ending with the wife of a resigning councilman charged with assault.
Surveillance footage showed what played out after the March 21 meeting concluded. Video showed Wendy Anderson confronting Village Solicitor Constance Hesske, who had resigned citing lack of respect from some council members.
Anderson is the wife of Doug Anderson, whose resignation from council was accepted at the meeting. Anderson was seen approaching Hesske and ordering her to apologize to Councilwoman Diane Holody.
“You owe her an apology,” Anderson told Hesske. “That was the most unprofessional, disgusting thing I ever saw.”
According to the video, Hesske, who did not appear to recognize Anderson, asked who she was and later extended her hand as if to introduce herself. Anderson is then seen slapping Hesske’s hand.
Mayor Douglas Mayer called police. “When certain people take actions like this, it's an embarrassment,” Mayer said.
Hesske told police she wished to file charges, according to a police report. When an officer told Anderson he was investigating a reported assault, Anderson told him “she tried to ‘high five’ Hesske,” according to the report. Prosecutors charged Anderson with misdemeanor assault.
“There seemed to be a personal or hidden agenda by certain members of council, and they were going to prove a point or make a point before the meeting was over,” Mayer said, explaining that several factors seemed to result in the confrontation.
Mayer called the behavior unacceptable and said he hoped council can move past this incident and all village leaders will take their jobs as stewards of the public seriously.
“I tried to make it so when people come to our meetings, they can be proud of their council,” Mayer said. “In one meeting that was all taken away, and that's a shame.”
Anderson was scheduled to appear in Stow Municipal Court Thursday morning. Hesske and Anderson did not respond to requests for comment.