Poland trustee accused of breaking into village electrical box
By Josh Stipanovich
Poland village officials are outraged after Bob Lidle, a Poland Township trustee, dug two trenches for additional electrical lines he installed himself for Celebrate Poland activities.
The electrical lines ran from an electrical box the village installed several years ago.
Tim Sicafuse, village mayor, first made council members aware of the incident during last week's council meeting.
"It's a mess. [Lidle] basically went into our service, spliced it out and made two lines without anyone's permission," Sicafuse said. "I don't think that's right."
One trench traveled east across town-hall property, Sicafuse said, toward the creek next to the Poland Village Town Hall building. The other trench goes south of town hall and onto school property.
Village officials are unsure what the lines were used for, but know it was Lidle because he was seen installing the lines the Friday morning before this year's Celebrate Poland.
Sicafuse said it wouldn't have been a big deal if Lidle had asked ahead of time.
"If he would have asked us, we would have said 'yes,'" Sicafuse said.
Lidle, a licensed electrician, contractor and instructor, said the lines were used mainly to power the bounce-around and said he received permission from the school board and talked to a couple of village council members about the work.
"I thought permission was granted," Lidle said.
But Sicafuse said the school-board members he talked to had no idea. He added that he knows for a fact none of the council members knew.
Bill Dunnavant, a village councilman, said during last week's meeting that the Celebrate Poland committee met for six months, and he was never approached by Lidle.
"That was never mentioned, and I was available to be asked," Dunnavant said.
Lidle said that he hasn't heard from any council members or Sicafuse about the incident and that this isn't the first time he's volunteered his time to do electrical work for others in Poland.
The box was installed specifically for the vendors and other participants of Celebrate Poland.
"We are very appreciative that we're able to utilize the electricity," Lidle said.
Sicafuse and other council members were concerned for public safety. Sicafuse said the village would have been liable for any potential injuries.
"I do things by the book," Lidle said. "I have installed something more safe. It's safer today than yesterday."
In the past, extension cords were used, Lidle and Sicafuse said.
Village officials hired an electrical company that came out Tuesday and unhooked the additional tie-ins Lidle made, Sicafuse said. He added it cost the village $118 to finish the work, and the bill would be mailed to Lidle.
Sicafuse said a lock has been placed on the electrical box so nobody can access it.
"[Lidle] thinks he can do whatever he wants, and that's not the way it works here," Sicafuse said.
"It wasn't for any personal gain," Lidle said.