Attorney files motion to dismiss Parkersburg city council member from complaint

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 12, 2015

PARKERSBURG – An attorney for City Councilman Roger Brown has filed a motion to dismiss him from a lawsuit filed by another city council member.

The motion to dismiss was filed Nov. 2 in Wood Circuit Court by Brown's attorneys, Roger Hanshaw and J. Mark Adkins of Bowles Rice in Charleston. They also filed a memorandum in support of the motion to dismiss.

In the memorandum, Brown's attorneys stated that Brown cannot be liable for violating West Virginia's open meetings law because he is not a member of the Finance Committee and the scope and vendor for the procedure was approved during a special council meeting on June 30.

City Councilwoman Nancy Wilcox filed her complaint against Brown, City Council President J.R. Carpenter, and council members Kim Coram and Mike Reynolds after she claimed they violated the open meetings law by meeting with a representative of a local accounting firm about a proposed review of city finances on June 18.

Wilcox claims that Carpenter, Coram and Reynolds represent a quorum of the five-member council Finance Committee and no public notice of the meeting was given.

The memorandum states that whether or not the meeting amounted to a formalized engagement of the firm is in dispute, but that Brown's role in the meeting is not because he is not a member of the City Council Finance Committee.

Brown's attendance at the meeting did not make him liable for any alleged breach of order by a quorum of the Committee, the memorandum states.

A hearing on the motion to dismiss is scheduled for Dec. 3 before Circuit Judge J.D. Beane.

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