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Chamber full as Beckley council selects mayor

Register-Herald photo by F. Brian Ferguson Bill O’Brien, left, kisses his wife, Lynn, seconds after receiving the majority of votes from Common Council members to become interim mayor for the city of Beckley during a special session Thursday evening. O’Brien will hold the office through June 30, 2016, the remainder of former mayor Emmett Pugh’s term, who resigned from the post in an agreement with the West Virginia Ethics Commission amid allegations of wrongdoing. Although Pugh never admitted guilt to the violations, he voluntarily agreed to step down as mayor Dec. 31, 2013.
Register-Herald photo by F. Brian Ferguson
Bill O’Brien, left, kisses his wife, Lynn, seconds after receiving the majority of votes from Common Council members to become interim mayor for the city of Beckley during a special session Thursday evening. O’Brien will hold the office through June 30, 2016, the remainder of former mayor Emmett Pugh’s term, who resigned from the post in an agreement with the West Virginia Ethics Commission amid allegations of wrongdoing. Although Pugh never admitted guilt to the violations, he voluntarily agreed to step down as mayor Dec. 31, 2013.

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — For the next two and a half years, former radioman Bill O’Brien will serve as the interim mayor for the City of Beckley.

Every seat in Council chambers was filled Thursday night, with even more people waiting in the foyer to hear Council’s election of the new city leader.
Recorder-treasurer Byrd White called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m., and city attorney Bill File gave a brief outline of the procedure for the election process.

White did a role call for quorum; all Council members were present.

Councilman-at-Large Cedric Robertson announced that he was seeking the position of mayor, so he excused himself from the room, as procedure required.

Councilwoman of Ward II Ann Worley then announced that she would be withdrawing her name from the race.

White asked for any other nominations from Council; Councilman Tom Sopher then nominated Bill O’Brien.

After hearing no others from Council, White closed nominations.

“All in favor of Bill O’Brien?”

Councilman Mike Atterson, Councilman Chris Hall, Worley and Sopher all raised their hands. Since there were only six Council members voting, a majority vote of four secured the win for O’Brien.

The special session lasted only 10 minutes and chatter broke out as soon as the meeting was adjourned.

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