Kenosha Ald. G. John Ruffolo is accused of stalking a woman for nearly three years, despite repeated warnings from law enforcement officials and pleas from the woman to stop.
Ruffolo, who represents the city’s 4th District, was charged with stalking, a felony in Kenosha County Circuit Court. Ruffolo, 54, was arrested Tuesday at his home and is being held in the Racine County Jail.
According to the criminal complaint, from February 2013 to July 2017 Ruffolo intentionally engaged “in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual that would cause a reasonable person” to suffer emotional distress, or fear of bodily injury or death.
Intake Court Commissioner Elizabeth Pfeuffer set bond at $10,000 cash Wednesday afternoon. Ruffolo is due in court Aug. 25 for a preliminary hearing.
If convicted, Ruffolo would face up to 18 months in prison, up to two years on extended supervision and a $10,000 fine. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is handling the case to avoid any conflict with the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office.
Accused of stalking woman
According to the complaint, Ruffolo and the 47-year-old woman had “a personal and eventually intimate relationship” from November 2012 to February 2014, when she ended their relationship.
After their relationship ended, Ruffolo began stalking the woman, the complaint states.
Despite being told not to contact the woman, Ruffolo allegedly “persisted in contacting” her cellphone, home and work phones. When she blocked Ruffolo’s numbers, Ruffolo allegedly continued calling from other numbers and used a “spoofing” app to generate numerous fake numbers.
Ruffolo also is accused of driving past the woman’s home on dozens of occasions, parking his vehicle in her neighborhood so she could see him, and even driving through her workplace parking lot.
According to state court records, Ruffolo has no criminal history here.
Alderman for nearly two decades
Ruffolo is chairman of the city’s Water Commission and a member of the Public Works and Stormwater Utility committees.
He ran unopposed in last April’s aldermanic election and has served on the City Council for nearly two decades.
In 2013 Ald. Patrick Juliana accused Ruffolo of putting glue in the lock of his car door. No criminal charges were filed.