Beckley Common Council expected to ask Mayor to step down - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

UPDATED: Heated meeting battle of Beckley leadership

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:13:55 GMT
    Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

    EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:54:05 GMT
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
  • Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Friday, August 1 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-08-01 19:58:48 GMT
    Alpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 minersAlpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 miners
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...
BECKLEY -

UPDATE:

59 News attended the Beckley Common Council meeting and while there was a lot to talk about there was little action taken.

It was heated and passionate. Dozens attended the common council meeting, wanting answers. Council members had the opportunity to speak about what should be done?

A Mayor admits no guilty. But is punished by the Ethics Commission, the question is posed does the council have an obligation to take action?? According to Councilman Ron Booker, yes, but to councilwoman Ann Worley and Tom Sopher, no.

But for others like Chris Hall, a further investigation is needed. But that would mean City Council would have to shell out city money to pay for outside council.

While many disagreed on the course of action the council should take most of the folks 59 News spoke with walked away from the meeting, feeling uncertain about what the future will hold for the city.


After the Mayor of Beckley announced his retirement last week following an ethics investigation, some council members said they do not think he should serve for the next six months.

Several Beckley Common Council members told 59News they expect to ask Mayor Emmett Pugh to step down and not fulfill the remainder of his term at the Common Council meeting on Tuesday night.

The Mayor announced he will be retiring at the end of 2013. He said this is not a part of the reconciliation agreement he signed to end an ethics investigation. Mayor Pugh said the reason he will remain in office for the next six months is that he would like to see unfinished projects through, like the Beckley Intermodal Gateway.

"It's sending a very difficult message to the citizens to say that in the future he can't run for any public office but it's okay for him to run the city at this juncture," said Councilman Chris Hall.

But City Attorney Bill File said the common council may ask the mayor to step down early, but he is under no obligation to comply and they have no legal authority to force him out.

Some council members are not at peace with the ethics investigation.

Councilman-at-large Cedric Robertson has added a "discussion of ethics resolution" to Tuesday's agenda.

"Council has to express duty to bring charges or we would be operating outside the confines of the city charter. If this evidence is not enough for my fellow council members to find the mayor has acted contrary to the laws of our city, I do not know what will."

Others said they think council still has more to do in terms of the ethics investigation.

"We all have responsibilities that the voters count on us to fulfill so I think were going to have to look at that too to make sure were doing our job in representing the citizens," said Councilman-at-large Tim Berry.

There are a few council members that think they need the next 6 months to agree on what's best for the city.

"I want us to come together and make a decision together. I would hate for the council to be divided on who is the mayor because in that respect none of us get anything done," said Councilman Tom Sopher.

The Beckley Common Council was set to appoint a mayor to serve the remainder of Pugh's term on Jan. 1, 2014.  The Common Council meeting will start at 7:30 p.m.  Stick with 59News for the latest on this story all day.