Saugatuck City Manager Harrier, Councilwoman Verplank File Harassment/Stalking Complaints Against Wendy Wise-Fisher
Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier and City Councilwoman Jane Verplank have filed separate stalking/harrasment complaints with police accusing former city councilwoman Wendy Wise-Fisher of continually following them, taking photographs of them, falsely accusing them of threatening behavior and starting false and unsubstantiated rumors that the government officials are having an affair.
In what has been described by several eyewitnesses to Fisher’s ongoing actions as “bizarre behavior”, Fisher herself confirmed for police investigating the complaint that she does “show up where he (Harrier) is and that I do videotape him,” according to police records.
She denies, however, stalking or harassing Harrier and Verplank and goes on to accuse the city manager of filing a false police report; threatening her verbally and physically; being dishonest; and being dangerous.
And while denying she is out to destroy Harrier’s reputation, Fisher sent a rambling, two-page email on May 12 accusing him of myriad criminal and innappropriate behavior to Saugatuck-Douglas police, the Douglas City Council, Saugatuck Township “City Council” (sic), the Allegan County Prosecutor, the Michigan Local Government Management Association’s “ethics department”, the Michigan Attorney General, the Saugatuck-Douglas Area Business Association (SABA), and the Saugatuck-Douglas Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Fisher has been seen continually walking by city hall, taking photographs/videos of Harrier and Verplank - including at Verplank’s home/business, telling people Harrier is a threat and danger to her and others, getting into loud, verbal arguments with strangers in town and also other business owners.
Fisher owns Wendy Wise Originals in downtown Saugatuck. She was elected to a two-year term on city council in November 2013, but resigned March 24, 2014 after a tumultuous, highly acrimonious relationship with several council members and Harrier.
According to the city manager, the final straw came on April 28 when he drove his car down Butler Street and passed Fisher near the Glik Store, as he was on his way to Verplank’s home/business to pick her up so they could travel to Holland together.
Harrier said he and Verplank - along with Harrier’s wife - have been long-time friends with Verplank and they sometimes socialize together.
Reporting that Fisher saw him driving down the street, Harrier picked up Verplank and was then “stunned” to see Fisher standing on the sidewalk near the post office taking photographs of him as he pulled out of a side street next to Verplank’s home/business.
Fisher then attempted to hide her camera, but Harrier rolled down his window and asked Fisher if she needed more photos of him. According to Harrier, Fisher replied, “No, I have what I need!” Harrier then drove off.
“She (Fisher) had to run from Gliks all the way down the street to get where she was to take our picture,” said Harrier. “Her actions are simply getting more bizarre and I’m concerned she may be a danger to me and others. This has been an ongoing thing with her. That’s why I filed the complaint.”
In her statement to police about the incident, Fisher said she was merely taking a picture of a sculpture on property near Verplank’s home/business and that Harrier “drove his car into the frame of my picture,” according to police records.
Fisher added in her email about the incident, “It was accidental that I took his picture.”
She denied stalking and/or harassing Harrier or Verplank.
In what appears to be an attempt by Fisher to get Harrier in trouble with his bosses - the Saugatuck City Council - she sent them an email trying to paint a picture of the city manager as an abusive, threatening and dangerous person.
For example, in referring to the recent photo incident, Fisher wrote: “Mr. Harrier’s volatile reaction to being in it (her photo) should undoubtedly cause this community serious concerns and leave this council not only asking some important questions, but making some important decisions as well.”
She also wrote: “Mr. Harrier has a bad temper, he has proven himself dishonest with these bogus harassment charges against me, and I believe Mr. Harrier is dangerous.”
Fisher also brought up past allegations she has made against Harrier of becoming violent and threatening towards her during a meeting in his office years ago, before she ran for and was elected to city council.
However, it wasn’t until a year after the alleged incident that Fisher even brought that alleged incident up publicly and witnesses who were at that meeting - city officials - denied any such action ever took place.
Harrier also said part of a written statement written and circulated by Fisher is causing him to feel he, and possibly his family and others may be in physcial danger from an allegdly unbalanced and possibly mentally disturbed woman (Fisher).
Fisher wrote, in part: “As I see it, the punishment Mr. Harrier is apparently deserving of is much greater than what the law calls for.”
Verplank doesn’t mince words in describing Fisher’s actions.
“She is stalking Kirk and me. She (Fisher) is after me; I am the person she writes most about in her blog.
“I have seen her do this for years; she constantly walks by my house, five or six times a day. Sometimes she is dressed as a man, sometimes she is dressed as a woman,” said Verplank.
“After a March 17 fire board meeting which I chair, she (Fisher) was standing in front of my house walking back and forth for about 10 minutes.
“Then she went across the street to the post office and I could see her taking pictures with her cell phone for about five minutes. So I think that constitutes stalking and harassment.”
Regarding Fisher’s claims alleging Harrier threatened her as she stood taking a photo on April 28, Verplank said it never happened. “I was there. She is a liar!”
Some fellow local business people told the Observer they have been verbally accosted and threatened by Fisher in the past and are frightened she may turn violent and they want nothing to do with her.
Fisher said she is talking to an attorney about possible legal action against Harrier and Verplank because they are damaging her reputation.