The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

January 29, 2013

As pool lawsuit draws nearer, parties seem to be growing even further apart

LEWISBURG — With a scheduled court hearing now only hours away, there is no indication that parties connected to a lawsuit challenging the expenditure of bed tax funds for a public swimming pool are any closer to settling their differences.

In fact, judging by the number of revisions, responses and renewals recently deposited into the court file, the warring factions may be even further apart than they were during a contentious initial courtroom appearance two weeks ago.

Lewisburg attorney Barry Bruce filed a petition for a writ of mandamus against the Greenbrier County Commission on behalf of four clients in November. The petition contended that a $1.3 million allocation of bed tax funds for reconstruction of a long-abandoned indoor swimming pool in a building owned by New River Community and Technical College was illegal.

The petition asked the court to order the money be returned to county coffers and to void the lease arrangement between the commission and New River.

As “indispensable parties” to those transactions, the college’s board and its foundation have asserted the right to intervene in the case, over the objections of Bruce and his clients.

Two days after a hearing before special Judge Charles M. Vickers, Bruce amended the original petition to read that his clients — now numbering only two — request the court to make a finding and issue an order “that the Greenbrier County Commission had no authority to transfer funds from the hotel/motel tax revenues for any reason other than those provided for under West Virginia State Code.”

Bruce then filed an objection to any stipulation for intervention in the case by either the college or its foundation because the petition was now narrowed to the single issue of appropriateness of the bed tax expenditure.

Foundation attorney Timothy N. Barber filed a renewed motion to intervene Monday, scoffing in his filing, “The amendment is a simple transparent attempt to avoid the intervention of the Foundation.”

Senior Assistant Attorney General Charles Houdyschell Jr., who represents the college’s board of governors, filed a reply Thursday to the petitioner’s objections to the intervention and again asked the court to deny the writ request.

The Greenbrier County Commission’s attorney, Richard A. Robb, filed an answer Jan. 22 to the amended writ petition, writing, “(T)he respondent denies it has violated any of the provisions of the West Virginia Code, willfully or otherwise.”

Robb also asked the court to dismiss the petition and, for good measure, filed a counterclaim against the petitioners, claiming their actions have delayed the planned pool construction project, thus causing the County Commission to lose a $200,000 grant.

“This action has been willful, malicious and wholly contrary to the public process available to the petitioners for opposing this project,” Robb wrote, asking the court to award the commission $200,000, plus attorney’s fees and costs.

Vickers signed an order last week setting a hearing on the intervention issues for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

— E-mail:

Text Only
Latest News
  • Judge in W.Va. asked to delay gay marriage ruling

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has asked a judge to postpone ruling on a federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia's same-sex marriage ban until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews a ruling in a similar case in Virginia.

    July 30, 2014

  • Tri-state coal interests rally before EPA hearings

    More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia joined top state elected officials Wednesday to rally against proposed stricter federal pollution regulations for coal-burning power plants.

    July 30, 2014

  • Work continues on stand-alone Warrior Trail

    The executive director of the Hatfield and McCoy Trail Authority said Tuesday that officials are still working toward the creation of the stand-alone Warrior Trail in McDowell County.

    July 30, 2014

  • East River Mountain Tunnel repairs will continue for several weeks

    Motorists traveling Interstate 77 could see slight delays again tonight as repair work continues inside of the fire-damaged East River Mountain Tunnel.

    July 30, 2014

  • State leaders to attend coal rally in Pittsburgh

    West Virginia officials are set to join hundreds of coal miners and coal supporters at an electricity and energy jobs rally.

    July 30, 2014

  • Americans continue to be plagued by debt

    Credit card debt may have reached its lowest level in a decade, but according to a recent study on personal debt vs. income, just as more people are paying off their credit card debt monthly, nearly the same number of people are being reported for unpaid bills. 

    July 30, 2014

  • twvcheck Theatre West Virginia gives back to hospice

    Theatre West Virginia, even with its shortened season this year, has found a way to give back to the community. Mike Cavendish, a past board president at TWV, presented Hospice of Southern West Virginia with a check Thursday for over $1,000. 

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former Summers County commissioner indicted

    The Summers County grand jury handed up indictments against 17 individuals this month, including one against a former county commissioner. 

    July 30, 2014

  • Weaker prices widen second quarter losses for Arch Coal

     Arch Coal Inc. said Tuesday that its second-quarter loss widened partly because of nagging rail disruptions and weaker prices for coal used in making steel, though cost controls helped the coal producer’s latest earnings surpass analysts’ expectations.

    July 30, 2014

  • pasiley Watery delight

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo