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Published: Sunday, 2/9/2003

Fostoria lawman charged in threat

FOSTORIA - Fostoria police Sgt. Nick Portentoso was held in the Seneca County jail briefly yesterday, charged with aggravated menacing in connection with an incident Friday involving his wife, Sheriff Tom Steyer said.

Sergeant Portentoso was released after posting 10 percent of a $10,000 bond set by Fostoria Municipal Court Judge John Hadacek.

Sheriff Steyer said the incident at the officer's home near Fostoria remains under investigation.

Sergeant Portentoso's wife, Kathleen, told deputies that her husband attempted to damage her telephone and a door of their home.

The charge, which is a first-degree misdemeanor, is the latest in a series of problems for the Fostoria Police Department.

Police Chief Dennis Day was recently suspended for failing to reduce overtime costs. The chief also was suspended about two years ago on allegations of stalking and harassing his estranged wife.

Mayor John Davoli said he would meet with the police chief, sheriff, and other officials tomorrow to go over the city's policies before making a decision on Sergeant Portentoso's role with the police department.

In May, Sergeant Portentoso was ordered to stay away from his estranged wife, who claimed he had been harassing her.

Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Kelbley issued a protection order to Mrs. Portentoso, who said her husband had been stalking her and threatened to kill her if she filed for divorce.

She told deputies Friday that she had filed for divorce.

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