Two area men are arrested on domestic violence charges, underscoring the apparent unfair treatment given to Councilor Marino for the same actions.
Read the first four articles about the Angelina Marino domestic violence story here:
On January 24th 2016, Geneva Police were called to the address of City Councilor Angelina Marino and her now-ex-wife Dawn Sutton after Sutton placed a 911 call for a domestic disturbance. The incomplete domestic incident report from the Geneva Police Department detailed the following acts (among others) committed by Marino:
- Marino kicked Sutton’s bedroom door open, breaking the wood door.
- Marino slammed the bathroom door open, causing the handle to go through the drywall.
Marino was not arrested or charged for these or any other events that night, raising questions about whether she was given preferential treatment due to her role as an elected official.
Domestic Incident #1 – Farmington Man (Age 17) Arrested and Charged
On May 28th 2017, Fingerlakes1.com reported that a Farmington man was arrested by Ontario County deputies for kicking a door in to the victim’s bedroom and punching a hole in a wall.
James L. Sheridan, age 17, was charged with 3rd degree criminal mischief, and “was transported to the Ontario County Jail and held on pre-arraignment detention.”
The similarities to Marino’s incident are striking.
Both aggressors kicked in a door to a victim’s bedroom and damaged a wall.
However, the 17-year-old male was later arrested and charged, while the female Geneva City Councilor was simply asked leave the house for the night.
Domestic Incident #2 – Seneca Falls Man (Age 32) Arrested and Charged
On June 30th 2017, Fingerlakes1.com reported that a Seneca Falls man was arrested for kicking a door in at a Seneca Falls residence on June 29th.
Junior R. Jeanty, age 32, was charged with 4th degree criminal mischief, and “was arraigned in Seneca Falls Town Court and remanded to the Seneca County Correctional Facility in lieu of $500 cash bail or $1,000 secured bond.”
Again, the similarity to Marino’s incident is striking.
Both aggressors kicked in a door, prompting a visit from the local police department.
However, the 32-year-old male arrested on the scene and charged, while the female Geneva City Councilor was simply asked leave the house for the night.
Even More Troubling Aspects Of The Marino Incidents
In addition to kicking in the door and damaging the wall, the incident involving Marino included other potentially criminal acts by the Councilor. In an audio recording made prior to the January 24th 2016 911 call, Marino is clearly heard intimidating the victim who was trying to call 911 which could bring harassment or intimidation charges, and spitting on the victim while verbally abusing her, which could constitute assault and battery.
And on the next morning, January 25th 2016, the Geneva Police were again called to the residence after Marino physically assaulted her ex-wife. Again, no charges were filed.
It’s time for an investigation into the Geneva Police Department’s handling of these incidents and an honest look into whether their officers are handling all domestic violence cases appropriately.
Something’s Got To Give
As detailed in previous articles, Marino responded to the publicity around the incidents by issuing a statement on Facebook, in which she did not apologize, showed no remorse, took no personal responsibility, blamed the victim, downplayed her behavior as simply being a part of one of the “worst days of (her) life,” and claimed that this blog was “overshadowing real victims of domestic violence.”
Since that time, Marino has been under intense scrutiny from the public, many of whom have lost their trust in her ability to lead. Residents of Ward 1, including those who worked on her campaign, may be feeling misled and angry. Marino has offered no other public statements since April, which is somewhat unsurprising considering that her fellow City Councilors are remaining tight-lipped about the situation as well. It would appear that everyone is just hoping that it will all blow over, but that’s not going to be the case.
Marino is faced with three choices.
- Choice #1 – Marino must resign so that City Council can deal with all the other issues facing the city without the distraction of an unrepentant domestic abuser in their midst.
- Choice #2 – Marino can continue to go about her business as a City Councilor, which will only make matters worse. The public may have a short memory for some misdeeds, but they will not forget these incidents and Marino’s response. Ignoring the problem will only exacerbate the damage she has caused with the public and, very likely, with her fellow elected officials.
- Choice #3 – Marino could have the opportunity for a second chance, if she would only accept responsibility for her actions.
Marino needs to publicly admit that her behavior during the three 2016 incidents was unacceptable and wrong. She needs to publicly apologize to her ex-wife, to the people of Geneva, and to her fellow councilors without trying to deflect responsibility. She needs to show remorse for her attempt to minimize her behavior by blaming media coverage for “overshadowing real victims of domestic violence” and admit that her ex-wife is a “real victim.” She must publicly condemn all types of domestic violence. She must also be courageous enough to admit that she needs help, and then seek and follow through on getting help to address her issues with violence and abuse.
Only by following these steps will Marino have any chance of repairing the harm she has caused to the public trust in city government.