Three-judge panel denies petition to remove Morgantown City Council members

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 22, 2016

MORGANTOWN – A three-judge panel has filed an order denying a petition to remove four members of Morgantown’s City Council.

MORGANTOWN – A three-judge panel has filed an order denying a petition to remove four members of Morgantown’s City Council.

The petition was brought by a business owner and former council candidate, George Papandreas, in 2015, seeking to remove Morgantown Mayor Marti Shamberger, Dupty Mayor William Kawecki and two council members, Nancy Ganz and Jennifer Selin.

After considering the evidence adduced at the February 19, 2016, hearing, reviewing the court file and studying pertinent legal authority, the court ruled that

Papendreas alleged the council members used their positions and influence on council to prevent the redistricting of the city’s fourth and seventh wards. He also contested a campaign email sent by Kawecki prior to the most recent municipal election.

The three-judge panel found that the e-mail violation was “de minimis and does not warrant the draconian sanction of the respondents’ removal from office,” according to the order denying Papandreas’ petition.

The panel concluded that the facts of the case are not in dispute and, ultimately, “Papandreas has failed to prove that the acts rise to the level to justify removing from office officials who have been duly elected by the electorate.”

The three-judge panel included Judges John Lewis Marks Jr., Richard A. Facemire and David H Wilmoth.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 15-C-650

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