BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — The City of Buckhannon’s former acting mayor and current city recorder, Richard Edwards, will resign in the wake of an investigation into the improper use of a city government fuel card during his time as active mayor in 2015.
“In order to forego presentation of a felony indictment before our Grand Jury, Mr. Edwards would make full restitution for the value of the property–gasoline taken–and that he would resign his office on or before August 31,” Mayor David McCauley said.
The West Virginia State Police investigated and the Upshur County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office came to a plea agreement with Edwards that they would not seek a felony indictment pending full restitution to the City of Buckhannon and his resignation.
Edwards has not officially resigned as of Friday morning, but has already paid full restitution to the City of Buckhannon for $592.75.
“These revelations of this recently concluded criminal investigation are absolutely not reflective of our city’s high ethical standards that are long established and maintained by our city,” McCauley said.
McCauley, who served as the City Attorney between 1983 and 2015 before winning election to the Mayor’s Office earlier this year, said citizens of the town could have full faith in the town’s governance.
“I don’t think any city relishes that kind of attention that invariably results in the press making these kind of inquiries, but I first most want to be absolutely reassuring to our citizen that our city is a very strong organization,” McCauley said.
“This is just a little bump in the road. I have no doubt that we will be stronger as this process goes forth and plays out.”
Edwards assumed the role of acting mayor in November 2014 when then-mayor Kenny Davidson resigned over health concerns.
If Edwards does not resign on or before August 31 in compliance with the plea deal, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office could once again seek criminal charges.
The next election for City Recorder is in 2018. The city is accepting letters of interest for the position in the interim.