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Panel Rules In Favor Of Pratt Mayor

Reported: May. 23, 2014 10:29 PM EDT
Updated: May. 23, 2014 10:59 PM EDT
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PRATT, W.Va. (Katy Brown) -- Pratt in Kanawha County has had its share of drama this past year.

"If I felt like I did something to embarrass the town, I'd gladly step down," Mayor Gary Fields said.

And while Fields may feel he's done nothing wrong, people living in the community think differently. Many people living in Pratt signed a petition, asking for Fields to be removed from office.

On Friday, a three judge panel in Kanawha County Court ruled in favor of Fields.

This all started when Fields was accused of using a police car for personal use.

Fields said he was accused "of getting pulled over at the sewer plant and arrested in a town car for a DUI," something he said never happened.

But according to court documents, Fields was pulled over at Pratt's water plant in a 2002 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor.

Court documents say Fields had more than 30 pills on him, many were pain pills. He told police he picked them up at a friend’s house for his wife.

Police cited Fields that night.

But less than a month later, the Kanawha County prosecutor’s office advised Fields be arrested and charged with simple possession.

Also in the order, one witness accused the mayor of failing his duties because of his addiction to pain medication.

"I've been taken pain medication for probably over 30 years," Fields said. "As far as being addicted, what would you think?"

The panel said witnesses and petitioners didn't provide enough evidence for them to remove the mayor. But some county officials don't think it will be long.

"Mayor Fields will continue to serve as mayor until we have another eruption in Pratt and I suspect, based upon his track record, we will," Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said.

Until then, Fields said anyone with problems of him remaining in office is welcome to come talk..

"Hey they can come in and see me any time and we'll talk," he said

The next town meeting is May 27.



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