The former acting mayor and current city recorder for Buckhannon will be resigning soon, following an investigation into his alleged improper use of a fuel card belonging to the city during his tenure as mayor in 2015. State police indicated that they have reached a plea agreement wherein the former mayor has agreed to step down from his current position as city recorder and make full restitution to the city Buckhannon, in order to avoid facing a felony indictment.
The former mayor said in a statement that he has agreed to step down from his office by Aug. 31, while fully reimbursing the city for misappropriated funds. Although he had yet to step down from his post as of Friday, Aug. 12, he has reportedly already reimbursed the city for the full amount of $592.75.
The former mayor served as Buckhannon's city attorney for 32 years, from 1983 to 2015, before being elected mayor earlier in 2016. He began serving as the action mayor back in November of 2014, when the previous mayor stepped down from the position due to health concerns.
According to the plea agreement he reached with state police, the former mayor must officially resign as city recorder no later than Aug. 31, or risk facing more criminal charges. In the meantime, the city of Buckhannon is accepting letters of interest from those who may want to fill the position in an interim capacity until the next election in 2018.
It is difficult to imagine any ill will that could have led to such a relatively minimal misappropriation of public funds, but the former mayor has still found himself on the wrong side of the law, and it has cost him his job. Sadly, these kinds of seemingly insignificant violations of the law can have surprisingly large implications. An experienced attorney can help anyone who is concerned that he or she will be in violation of the law determine the right course of action to avoid unnecessary consequences and ensure that his or her rights remain protected.
Source: Metro News, "Buckhannon recorder resigns over improper use of gas card," Alex Wiederspiel, Aug. 12, 2016