By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
SLIPPERY ROCK —
Tensions were running high at Tuesday night’s Slippery Rock council meeting in regards to the late Frank Monteleone Jr., who took his own life last weekend in the parking lot of the borough building.
Council chambers filled up with a small crowd that included Monteleone’s longtime girlfriend Bonnie Davis and his loved ones, whose jackets displayed small photos of Monteleone, a well-known landlord who owned many properties in the borough.
A few minutes before the meeting started, council member Itzi Meztli asked if a moment of silence could be observed at the beginning of the meeting in Monteleone’s memory.
Council member Bob Bowser objected, drawing the attention of some in the crowd, saying council hadn’t held moments of silence for others who had passed away.
Bowser also referred to what he considers threatening ads Monteleone ran in the Butler Eagle which he felt implied violent actions against council.
The meeting then began with the moment of silence - Bowser did not stand up - and several people in the crowd could be heard crying quietly.
Council Vice President Christy Tichy read a brief statement on behalf of council offering their sympathies to Monteleone’s family and friends.
One woman in the crowd made a comment implying that she didn’t believe council’s condolences were sincere - Tichy assured her they were - but the room quickly erupted in shouts and yells, with at least one person telling council they should be ashamed.
Slippery Rock Police Chief Terry Fedokovitz, who had been standing in the back of the room, had to step in and yell above the chaos to silence the crowd.
“It’s a human life that was lost,” he reminded everyone.
Bowser later made it a point to tell Davis he was sorry for Monteleone’s passing.
“I wish he had gotten the help he needed,” he said.
Monteleone, 52, of Slippery Rock Township, had attended council meetings on a regular basis for most of this year, often going head-to-head with borough officials on matters including the bulk trash issue.
On the evening of Nov. 16, Monteleone called 911, threatening to kill himself, Butler state police said.
His body was found in the borough building parking lot, 306 E. Water St., and he died from a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound, having carried out his threat before authorities arrived. Slippery Rock University campus police assisted state police, and Slippery Rock borough police, whose department is at the borough building, were not on duty at the time of the incident.
Published Nov. 23, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.