Councilman explodes over comments made during meeting

By GABRIEL GOODWIN
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — Councilman Angelo DeGiulio lashed out after two off-duty police officers confronted him about recent activity and posts made on social media.

“Don’t come up here and lie and lie and lie,” DeGiulio said during the City Council meeting Tuesday. “Russ Pillar, Chris Egan, and Wayne Albright, I’m calling you all liars.”

Allen Park Police Lt. Chris Egan and Sgt. Wayne Albright said they were taken “by surprise” after recent friend requests were sent to them by DeGuilio. Both men said DeGiulio’s Facebook page also contained pictures of the men — either in uniform or with their family members — without their permission and “could be misinterpreted.”

Albright said the posted photos give the illusion he supports DeGiulio’s political campaign, “which in his official capacity as a police officer he cannot do.” Egan echoed those concerns and said the photos of him and his son also made it seem like he gave a political endorsement to DeGiulio.

Other photos posted in a collection called “family and friends,” Albright said, are a “misrepresentation of the relationship” between the men because they are not family and he can’t consider the two of them friends either due to past experiences.

“Mr. DeGiulio has gone on record and stated numerous times that he is afraid of me, fears for his life and his family, and is petrified and terrified of me,” Albright said. “So imagine my surprise Monday night when I received a friend request on Facebook from Mr. DeGiulio.

“I’m confused because friends don’t do the things I’ve just described to one another. So either you’re afraid of me and your family is afraid of me or you feel comfortable enough to become my friend on Facebook. If that is the case, then your previous statements are a lie.”

DeGiulio countered the comments made by calling both men and everyone involved with his ethics hearing a liar. He said he would give $1,000 to each school in Allen Park if Egan, Albright, retired officer Russell Pillar, and his wife could pass polygraph tests, or $500 if they could not pass because he said he took polygraph tests twice and passed both about his involvement with an Aug. 12, 2012, incident.

“Now it is in circuit court, not district court, so it out of Mr. Pillar’s hands and Mr. Albright’s hands,” DeGiulio said. “You lied, too, Mr. Albright. You lied under oath. That is terrible and the lowest thing a police officer can do.”

DeGiulio continued to make comments about the status of the ethic hearing calling it a “witch hunt perpetrated on him” and claimed most people would take the beating, but he “didn’t have to take the beating.” He said he had the money to take it to court and can take it to the Supreme Court if he had to.

“When you file an ethics complaint and blatantly lie, then we have a problem,” DeGiulio said. “We can go all the way with this. Nobody ever thought it would go this far. So if you want to lie, lie on someone who can’t afford to take it to circuit court. That way you can win.”

Four complaints were made regarding DeGuilio’s actions and comments following the Aug. 21 council meeting, but two of those complaints later were dismissed.

During an ethics hearing last year, the individuals who testified said there was an aggressive tension in the hallway after the council meeting, and there was a brief argument between DeGuilio and Pillar followed by an exchange between DeGuilio and Albright before the men left city hall.

The Allen Park Board of Ethics concluded DeGuilio violated two ethical principles held for government officials — the principle of respectability and fitness for public office and the principle of congeniality and productivity — with his actions and words toward Albright and Pillar were inappropriate.

Several comments were alleged, but DeGuilio offered an explanation for one. He told the board he did not understand the ongoing repercussions of calling Pillar a “dumb, stupid cop” because it was during an argument between the two men.

DeGiulio filed for a restraining order and injunction against the city Oct. 16, after receiving notice the City Council was prepared to hold an Oct. 30 disciplinary hearing and set the guidelines for the hearing.

One city official said the lawsuit was a “diversionary tactic used to postpone any potential consequences” after the board found DeGuilio guilty of violating ethical guidelines in the city charter.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Annette Berry ruled Dec. 20 that the council could move forward with a disciplinary hearing against DeGiulio, but held a status conference Jan. 17 to mediate on any unresolved issues to avoid further legal action in the case.

There has been no other information released since notification of the status conference.

(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at ggoodwin@bewickpublications.com.)

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