CLARKSBURG, W. Va. — The Central West Virginia Transit Authority has voted to retain the services of John Aman as general manager after he serves time in federal prison for committing bank fraud outside the scope of his duties with the bus service.
Throughout Aman’s legal proceedings, CENTRA board members have stated his crimes had nothing to do with his work there and continually praised his performance, even giving him a raise at one point.
“We made the decision for the best interest of CENTRA and to try to keep going in the right direction like we have under Mister Aman,” Zeke Lopez, CENTRA board member said.
Aman was sentenced to 21 months in prison on one count of bank fraud which charged him with obtaining loans by abusing the power of attorney designated to him by an elderly in-law.
He must self-report to prison by October 22. He will not be paid by CENTRA during this time.
In the interim, the board voted 2-1 –with Mario Blount, board president and Terry Greaver voting yes, Bernie Fazzini voting no and Lopez abstaining– to have Lopez fill the general manager position at a $35,000 per year salary until Aman completes his sentence.
Lopez said his 11 years serving on the board will allow him to fulfill the duties.
“We’ve got grants we have to fill for the state, make sure the buses come out,” he said. “[I will] Just do the general duties of the general manager and run the day-to-day operations.”
Also, during Wednesday’s meeting, Blount announced he was stepping down from his position.
“My errors, that I have taken full responsibility for, have not diminished my passion and my care for public transportation in Harrison County,” he said. “I will submit a letter of resignation to the Harrison County Commission for my resignation from the CENTRA board and I will, on the approval of that resignation by the Harrison County Commission, resign from the CENTRA board.”
The former mayor of Bridgeport, Blount pleaded guilty to federal drug crimes involving the distribution of controlled substances for non-legitimate medical purposes while serving as Chief Pharmacist at Best Care Pharmacy.
His sentencing is scheduled for January 2015.
Two new members will have to be appointed to the board as Lopez will have to step down to take the general manager position. Two members serve on behalf of Clarksburg, one member serves on behalf of Bridgeport and one represents the Harrison County Commission.