Lake Shore City Council member John Bukovich offered to resign his seat Monday, June 25, after incurring a second misdemeanor shoplifting citation in the past four years.
"If you want me to step down, I will. I don't want to embarrass the city anymore or anyone else," Bukovich told council members at the end of Monday's monthly meeting.
He was cited with misdemeanor shoplifting after allegedly taking $225 in merchandise Sunday, June 24, from Gander Mountain in Baxter. That followed a 2008 misdemeanor shoplifting charge from an incident at Mills Fleet Farm in Baxter. Bukovich fought that citation and it was dismissed. He said Monday night he wouldn't fight the most recent citation.
Bukovich blamed both incidents on an overdose of medication he is taking.
He received general support from council members, who wished him luck and did not ask him to vacate his council seat.
"I'm on a pill that's supposed to, it's almost like a post-stress thing from Vietnam," Bukovich told council members and several people in the audience. "With the pressures I had at work I was taking extra pills, and I can't take extra pills. I think I had four this time. I only had three the last time. It really screws me up. I do things I don't even know I'm doing, but I do them anyway."
Bukovich said the buzzer went off when he left Gander Mountain and an employee came over and asked what he was doing. Bukovich said he didn't know, and that he told the employee to call the police and charge him with the crime.
He said he visited the VA Hospital on Monday morning and will see a psychiatrist for a week and re-evaluate his medication.
"It's an embarrassment for me. It's an embarrassment for my wife, and I'm sure it's an embarrassment for the council," Bukovich said, noting he realizes he has to regulate his medication.
He said he was taking pills without his wife knowing. He said he has informed the people he works with at Lakes Grill & Bar, where he is general manager, so they can help make sure he doesn't take too much medication.
"I'm plain stressed and started taking it because it calms me down," Bukovich said. "But I get to a certain point and it drives me crazy. I'm trying hard. It seems the older I get, the worse it's getting."
Mayor John Terwilliger said, "I talked to John after the first time. I know people with similar medication and it is some strange stuff. It affects people in different ways."
Council member John Poston said, "It sounds like you're doing the right thing."
Council member Susan Amacher said she appreciated Bukovich talking to the council about this incident.
"I think it takes a lot of stamina to do that," she said.
"Do what's best for you," said council member Doug Miller.
Bukovich said he would go through treatments and straighten out the medication dosages. He apologized for embarrassing the council and anyone who had any faith in him.
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