The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

January 23, 2013

Beckley mayor’s state ethics hearing postponed once more

An ethics hearing has been postponed yet again for Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh, who is accused of violating the Ethics Act by using his public office for private financial gain.

The West Virginia Ethics Commission confirmed that Pugh’s hearing, scheduled for Jan. 28 in Beckley, has been delayed and a new date has not been scheduled.

This delay was created when Martin J. Wright Jr., deputy counsel for the Ethics Commission, left the agency earlier this month to accept a position in the West Virginia Attorney General’s office.

Pugh said the Commission will have to find a new attorney and allow him or her to get up to speed on the case.

“I’m disappointed because we were ready to present our case. We just have to wait and see. The hearing has been canceled and who knows when it’s going to happen. I’m under the impression that there will be a status conference at the end of February to find out where everyone stands.”

Pugh is being charged with nine counts of ethics violations, including the use of public office for private gain, accepting improper gifts, use of a public office for own private gain and private gain of another, and prohibited interest in public contracts.

The complaint alleges that in return for providing public contracts with the city of Beckley and free use of the city’s resources, including material and labor, Pugh was “financially rewarded with gifted ownership interests in companies resulting in private gain of more than $12,000.”

The Probable Cause Review Board also alleges Pugh inappropriately used a vehicle leased under the Beckley Sanitary Board.  

The alleged violations were made public knowledge in April and Councilman Chris Hall wrote a letter to the Ethics Commission in June, urging a formal hearing to be scheduled as quickly as possible. He said a resolution to this conflict would allow council members to return their full focus back to the needs of city residents.

At the time then-Ethics Commission Director Theresa M. Kirk initially anticipated a September hearing, but in early October, the Commission announced a Jan. 28 hearing date for Mayor Pugh.

“When it first happened, it was a hindrance,” Pugh said. “But I think we’ve kind of gotten over that. I still maintain my same position that in no way, shape, or form have I used my office for personal gain.”

When a new date is set, it will be posted online at www.ethics.wv. gov.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • twv play 2 Season’s curtain call

    Tonight is the last chance to see Theatre West Virginia Act II’s production of “Hatfields and McCoys,” a 17-show season many thought would never happen.

     

    August 2, 2014 2 Photos

  • Alpha says reducing coal stockpiles could prevent layoffs

    An Alpha Natural Resources spokesman said Friday that the company is “hopeful” that coal stockpiles can be sold in the next few months so the company can avoid laying off more than 1,100 surface coal miners and other support personnel by mid-October. 

    August 2, 2014

  • Congress quick-fix: Highways funded through mid-2015

    Hours before the federal government was set to reduce payments to states for road and bridge projects, Congress approved a temporary fix late Thursday night that would maintain funding through the middle of next year.

    But in some ways, the damage already had been done.

    August 2, 2014

  • makeawish Selling stars: A dollar helps grant a child's wish

    Make-A-Wish and the West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association (OMEGA) are partnering to sell “wish stars” at grocery and convenience stores throughout the state. You can get a star for $1 through the month of August. All money raised will go to making children’s wishes come true.

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • W.Va., 11 other states, ask Supreme Court to declare new EPA rules illegal

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Friday that West Virginia led a bipartisan group of 12 states that are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to declare illegal a settlement agreement in which the EPA promised to issue its now-pending rule concerning existing coal-fired power plants.

    August 1, 2014

  • Ebola outbreak moving faster than control efforts

    An Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than efforts to control the disease, the head of the World Health Organization warned as presidents from the affected countries met Friday in Guinea's capital.

    August 1, 2014

  • Oak Hill man arrested for selling drugs to police officers

    A Fayette County man is in jail after his arrest Thursday evening for several drug offenses, according to a press release from the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.

    August 1, 2014

  • Suspect arrested, faces felony charges following shooting incident

    A Mercer County man was arrested and arraigned on felony charges Thursday after a domestic altercation led to a shooting incident in the Montcalm area of Mercer County.

    August 1, 2014

  • pittsburgh rally 5,000 rally in Pittsburgh against EPA Clean Power Plan

    The echo of people chanting, “Hey, hey, EPA, don’t take our jobs away” could be heard in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday. The voices came from about 5,000 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members and their families, along with other unions such as the Boilermakers and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International (IBEW), marching through the streets.

     

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Alpha plans to idle coal workers

    Approximately 1,100 employees at 11 Alpha Resources-affiliated surface mines, preparation plants and other support operations in southern West Virginia got notice late Thursday afternoon that their jobs could be in jeopardy.

     

    August 1, 2014