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.

Photo by Aaron Payne

Members of the CENTRA board gathered to discuss personnel matters

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.

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Comments

  • Harrison Countian

    This is just so so wrong and shame on the Harrison County Commissioners for allowing this situation to occur. Do the right thing commissioners. We the citizens vote for the Transportation bond or levy. I for one will give this serious thought before I vote yes next time. WE need bus transportation but we don't need crooks, bad people who cover each others backs running it.

  • jon shriver

    It appears that there are many office holders in Harrison County who have questionable character.

    • Levelheaded

      The lack of character is beyond questionable.

  • Ron from Morgantown

    Why vote now ? What's the rush ? You have 21 months to make that decision . I guess his special gift is making the busses run on time - and stealing money from an elderly person .

  • Nosmo King

    What a joke and a complete embarrassment for the City of Clarksburg. Glad I moved away years ago. I see nothing has changed and it is still being run by criminals.

  • Another sad day in WV

    Nothing surprises me with this state anymore. We are being led in all facets of business and government by mostly crooks who receive slaps on the wrist or nothing at all for their misdoings. Notice I said mostly because we still have good people at the top. They just can't make any progress because they are overshadowed by the larger bushel of bad apples.

  • mark

    sounds like the whole board should resign!

  • jethro

    Fazzini is the only one with class

  • jethro

    Clarksburg and Bridgeport are full of crooks .it's the west Virginia way

  • Convicts Club

    Birds of a feather...

  • JT

    You've got to be freakin kidding me. Only in Clarksburg would keeping a convicted felon on a board of public works be No Big Deal

  • Paul

    Can the rank and file bus drivers even get hired, let alone get their job back with CENTRA or any state transit authority, if the criminal background check reveals a conviction of a felony? A felony is major crime is it not.

  • Seth

    How many criminals can be mentioned in one article?

  • Claksburg Pete

    As a citizen of Harrison County, I am completely embarrassed by these actions. To allow someone who has been convicted of stealing from his own family the access to public funds is shocking. Worse is the back room deal that allows Lopez to assume the interim-post. I can't wait to see the non response from the local paper and members of Bridgeport, Clarksburg City Councils and from the Harrison County Commission. I am shocked.

  • liberty4all

    Embarrassing for the citizens of Harrison County. And one wonders why people have no faith in their government. Why two criminals are involved in deciding the fate of another is beyond me. At least Mr. Fazzini equated himself well with a vote of "no".

    • ViennaGuy

      Agreed!

  • Martin

    What a bunch of CRAP!