HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Huntington City Councilman Scott Caserta was removed as chair of the body during a special meeting Wednesday, two days after he submitted documents to the county prosecutor alleging Mayor Steve Williams appeared to have made an illegal payout to a former departing police chief.
Williams maintains he has done nothing wrong, as has city attorney Scott Damron.
Caserta was voted out as chair by an 8-1 margin, with Rebecca Thacker the lone dissenting vote. Caserta did not vote, and Councilman Tom McGuffin was absent. Sandra Clements was elected the new chair, and Gary Bunn was elected vice chair.
The meeting was the culmination of a chain of events that began last month with Caserta requesting information from Finance Director Deron Runyon on a lump sum payment of roughly $34,000 made to Skip Holbrook after he resigned in April 2014 to take the job as chief of police in Columbia, South Carolina. The payment was for accrued sick leave.
Caserta then obtained information from Damron on the city’s policy for such payments, and surmised Holbrook didn’t qualify because he hadn’t been with the city for at least 20 years, wasn’t 60 or older and wasn’t on disability.
On Monday, Caserta took that information to the office of Cabell County Prosecutor Sean “Corky” Hammers, along with a letter asking him to investigate the matter…