Pocahontas County Resident Norman Alderman: Crusader Or Stalker?
Marlinton, WV – Pocahontas residents were perhaps at first shocked, but probably not surprised that Pocahontas resident Norman Alderman was arrested and charged on August 12th with harassment and stalking. Alderman has for some time been a self-appointed community watchdog via a local website he started several years ago. But this time, his tactics may result in jail time and/ or serious fines.
On August 5th, Pocahontas County Commissioner David Fleming filed a criminal complaint against Alderman with the Pocahontas County Sheriffs Dept. The charges in the complaint are intent to harass or abuse by use of a computer and stalking.
According to the complaint, Alderman had on numerous occasions made contact with Fleming, even after Fleming requested Alderman to desist from contacting him via email or other computer communications. The complaint says Alderman continued to harass and threaten to commit a crime against Fleming. The complaint goes on to allege that Alderman made slanderous and harassing remarks regarding Flemings’ personal life and his current residence. Alderman alleges that Fleming no longer lives in the district he represents -the Northern District of Pocahontas County.
During the August 7th edition of Commissioners Corner on Allegheny Mountain Radio, Fleming talked about his current living arrangement.
“As people have come to know, by means that are unfortunate, I have recently been through a divorce” says Fleming. “As amicable as our divorce process has been, it is nonetheless a divorce which necessitates a change in living arrangements. The living arrangements for now are temporary.”
Fleming has stated publicly that he is living in a rental property on Sheets Road. A perusal of a map of Pocahontas County voting districts appears to put Sheets Road squarely within the Northern District boundaries.
But that apparently is not enough to convince Alderman. In the complaint, Fleming says Alderman made threats to him in regards to “creating a neighborhood watch to see where David Fleming goes to bed and where he gets up in the morning.” It also states that Alderman called for citizens of the county to help him find Fleming. In one specific conversation, Alderman is accused of urging one of his community volunteers by saying “got your periscope for peaking in windows and your kneepads for crawling around under them”.
Fleming says this has caused extreme mental injury, emotional distress and fear for his personal safety.
Alderman had sought to verify Flemings address at the County Commission meeting on August 3rd. This issue was on the agenda for that meeting, but was removed at Flemings’ request prior to the meeting. During the Commissioners Corner program, Fleming had this to say regarding the removal of the agenda item.
“What I don’t appreciate is the manner in which this has been misconstrued and promoted as some kind of an examination of my whereabouts. ” he says. “That is entirely inappropriate and I cannot condone that kind of behavior either in my personal life or at the public forum of the Commissions’ agenda.”
“So there are some matters which come before the Commission which are off limits and this one of them.”
This is not the first time that Alderman has been accused of using his website to harass county employees. He was also chastised by the West Virginia Supreme Court for making unproven accusations of malfeasance against Pocahontas County School Treasurer Alice Irvine. Those statements were made in the course of Aldermans’ petition to be reinstated to the school system after being fired by the Pocahontas County Board of Education for insubordination.
So, is Norman Alderman simply a citizen crusading for truth or egomaniacal stalker? That question is now up to the court to decide.