Marmet mayor questions who can fire town workers

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 29, 2015

CHARLESTON – Marmet Mayor Bill Pauley is seeking declaratory judgment against Marmet's town council to determine which entity, has the authority to dismiss officers and employees of the town's government.


CHARLESTON – Marmet Mayor Bill Pauley is seeking declaratory judgment against Marmet's town council to determine which entity, has the authority to dismiss officers and employees of the town's government.


The members of the council, Jerry McGhee, Terry Russell, Debbie Skeen, William Tardy and Travis Walker, were also named as defendants in the suit.


Pauley wants to know if it is himself or the town council who possesses the authority to dismiss the street superintendent and the town attorney, according to a complaint filed March 31 in Kanawha Circuit Court.


Pauley claims in January, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service affirmed its earlier determination that the street superintendent for Marmet did not qualify as a private contractor and should be classified as an employee, and the town council appointed him to that position as an employee in February.


The mayor disputed the town council's authority to make this appointment, as well as compelling him to pay the salary amount it had determined, according to the suit.


Pauley claims as mayor, it has always been his position to appoint officers and employees of the town with council approval.


Following disputes over the employment of the street superintendent, the town council also dismissed the town attorney in March, according to the suit.


Pauley claims he had previously appointed the attorney with council approval and following his dismissal, a veteran member of the town council asked the mayor to appoint an attorney the council members preferred, thus confirming the mayor's authority to make the appointment.


Pauley is seeking the court to rule on which office has the authority to appoint officers and employees of the town government; decide if the mayor is obligated to pay the amount town council has allocated for a particular position or can be pay a lesser amount; and decide if the payment to the street superintendent in the amount town council has approved increase his salary during the term of office, this violating state law.


Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-638

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