YOUNGSTOWN Table turns on watcher
The mayor said he found the head of the citizens league on the ground behind trees with binoculars and a notepad.
By D.A. WILKINSON
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Political fire is raining on Robert Fitzer, the president of the Citizens League of Greater Youngstown.
Mayor George M. McKelvey made available Monday his report on and photographs of Robert Fitzer, president of the Citizens League of Greater Youngstown, watching him and other area leaders.
The mayor then took to the airwaves on the Dan Ryan radio show to complain about Fitzer.
911 call: McKelvey said he called 911 early Saturday afternoon after he and others saw a person, possibly with a weapon, outside Anthony's on the River, 15 Oak Hill Ave., downtown.
The mayor then left the restaurant with a camera and came up on Fitzer from behind.
Fitzer, who was on the ground behind pine trees with binoculars and a notebook that contained names and car information, said he was bird-watching, according to McKelvey.
Fitzer declined Monday to comment on the event.
Police arrived later and found no weapon. No police report was made. A copy of the 911 tape was not readily available.
What was happening: McKelvey, former state Sen. Harry Meshel and Trumbull County Commissioner James Tsagaris were among people at the restaurant for a routine luncheon of community leaders started by the late William Cafaro.
McKelvey said Monday he had no knowledge that Fitzer had waited outside other events.
The mayor said he called police because he was "greatly concerned."
The mayor said threats against officials are common but noted he does not have a bodyguard. He would not say if he had a weapon when he approached Fitzer from behind, but added he was not afraid since he had disarmed many people while he was a teacher.
The mayor said he and Tsagaris drove to the area near the John Young memorial while Meshel walked over.
The mayor said of Fitzer, "I pity him."
McKelvey said there may be repercussions from the event. He said he planned to talk to Youngstown State University President David C. Sweet and YSU's radio station to see if Fitzer's activities are condoned by the university.
Fitzer is co-host of "Commentary Cafe" on WYSU-FM 88.5.