Richwood Mayor Sues City Council, State Auditor - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Richwood Mayor Sues City Council, State Auditor

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CHARLESTON- Richwood Mayor Bob Henry Baber has filed a civil lawsuit against eight Richwood City Council members and West Virginia Auditor JB McCuskey. Baber alleges the city council did not follow common practice in their meetings in trying to remove him from office.

Baber's petition outlines state code that he believes has been broken when council member met in executive session and asked for his resignation. Mayor Baber says in the suit he was not allowed to respond to allegations after the council voted. 

Baber goes on to say after the council asked for his resignation, he continued functioning as Mayor, because he refused to resign. He officially received a letter September 25th, stating he had been placed on administrative leave and was restricted to public areas of city hall. Baber argues these directives are illegal.

The mayor then discovered West Virginia Auditor J.B. McCuskey was investigating the city's use of a purchasing card during the 2016 floods. Mayor Baber says he spent about $6,500 from February through July of 2017, and all but $200 of these expenditures have been accounted for. 

On October 2nd, Mayor Baber posted a city council agenda, but two days later a special agenda was posted for the same date and time. Baber says he was "forcibly prevented" from participating in the special council meeting. He was also barred from participating in the October 19th meeting. That same day, the council announced the State Auditor would be auditing the city starting from 2013. 

Baber's legal counsel is asking the Kanawha County Circuit Court to issue a "rule to show cause" as to why Baber was restricted from his mayoral duties. Further he asks the court to stop the council from placing Baber on administrative leave in the future. He is also asking the city to cover his legal costs in pursuing the civil suit.

Alternatively, Baber is asking the court to force McCuskey to answer questions as to why the investigation cannot be immediate conducted and completed.

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