Former Dunbar mayor to Ethics Commission: “I’m not paying you a dime” (audio)
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Roger Wolfe, former mayor of Dunbar (pictured left), addresses the West Virginia Ethics Commission. (Photo/Steven Allen Adams)
By Steven Allen Adams | West Virginia Watchdog
CHARLESTON — Roger Wolfe, the former mayor of the City of Dunbar, had a message for the West Virginia Ethics Commission today:
“I’m just here to inform the Ethics Commission I’m not paying you you a dime,” Wolfe said. “You won’t get one penny from me because of your unethical behavior and your unethical decision pertaining to my case.”
Wolfe attended the November meeting of the state Ethics Commission to deliver his message in person. The commission voted unanimously to take Wolfe to Kanawha County Circuit to collect the fines Wolfe is refusing to pay.
The commission ordered Wolfe to pay $15,000 punitive fine, reimburse the City of Dunbar $5,700 for unauthorized reimbursements, and reimburse the commission $5,700 in legal expenses.
“It is our duty under the law to collect this fine,” said attorney Kemp Morton, chairman of the Ethics Commission. “If it is not paid we’re required to go to court. We’ll have further expensive legal proceedings in regards to that.
“You’re the most unethical group of people I have ever met in my life,” Wolfe said.
In 2008, a the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals appointed a three-judge panel, which removed Wolfe from office for violating state law and Dunbar’s city charter. During his time as mayor, Wolfe paid himself $10,000 for expenses, $8,000 for a truck, $500 for a Little League baseball team, and $850 for a midget football league, all without approval from Dunbar City Council.
“I’m the only public official in the history of our state to be thrown out because I paid $500 to the Little League,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe said he has tried to present evidence that would clear him of wrongdoing, but state Supreme Court has chosen not to hear his appeals. Before leaving the meeting, Wolfe challenged the commission to hold a public meeting on the matter in 30 days with the West Virginia State Bar Association.
Wolfe made it clear he would rather go to jail than pay the fine.
“I like being a nice fellow, but they’re going to have to put me in jail before I pay one penny to the Ethics Commission,” Wolfe said.
Commission members had no comment on the matter when the meeting concluded.
Listen to Wolfe talk to members of the press after the commission went into executive session below (or click here):
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- W.Va. Ethics Commission in No Hurry to Post Lobbying Data Online (westvirginia.watchdog.org)
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