APPLETON — An Appleton resident said he is exploring his legal options after receiving a written warning advising him that he cannot enter the city office building for one year.
Mitchell Fett said he was issued a written trespass warning by Appleton Police Chief Sedrick Borsgard on Tuesday morning, the day after he uttered a profane word and expressed his displeasure with Appleton City Administrator Willie Morales to him in the lobby of the building.
Fett said the chief, whom he knows personally, handed him a written notice.
“We talked a little bit. I apologized. I said there is no way I ever thought it was going to come to this, that he’d need to be involved in it,” Fett said.
Fett said he had gone to the city office building around 1 p.m. Monday in order to speak at a public meeting beginning at 2 p.m.
He said he encountered the city administrator as he walked from the north corridor and said to Morales: “F--- off.”
“He said ‘what did I do to you?’” said Fett. He said the two continued to have a discussion and Fett said he expressed his displeasure with the city administrator.
Among the concerns, he said he complained about an accusation that the city administrator had placed a letter of reprimand in the file of an employee who had operated a video recorder. It had been operating during a break in a meeting and recorded the city administrator expressing a disparaging comment about then-Appleton Area Health CEO Lori Andreas. Morales has since apologized for the comment.
Fett maintains that he made no threatening remarks during the conversion with the city administrator. He said Morales asked him why he was yelling at him. Fett said his voice was raised because he was wearing a mask. He said the city administrator was not.
“Absolutely positively. There was not a single word that could be misconstrued as a threat. I don’t work that way,” said Fett of the conversation.
City Administrator Morales said he could not speak about the incident itself as it was a private matter. Asked if the incident caused concern or fear due to words or behavior or both, he said: “Both.”
Morales said he conferred with the city attorney and contacted the police chief to obtain the trespass notice against Fett.
Morales emphasized that the trespass notice was unrelated to Fett’s presence at the public meeting that was held after the incident occurred. At the meeting, Fett tendered his resignation from the Appleton Airport Board, on which he has served for about 30 years.
The Appleton City Council meeting was held Monday to consider Mayor Dan Tosel’s demand that Warren Rau, a member of the Appleton Area Health board of directors, be removed from it.
Fett told council members he was resigning his position in support of Rau.
“No way in hell (do I) want to be drug through anything like what you’re doing to him right here,” he told council members. “I am not going to give you that opportunity. I’ve known you all too long. I don’t know what’s happened to you, but this isn’t the town I moved into.”
Fett has been a resident of Appleton since 1975. He staffed the Minnesota Department of Transportation facility in Appleton and retired in 2010 after a 36-year career with the department.
He said he is seeking legal assistance as he wants to attend the June 10 public hearing at which the demand for Rau’s removal from the board will be considered again.