BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Following a Bridgeport City Council meeting in which Mayor Mario Blount repeated several times that he would not resign, two City Council members said they thought he should.
Blount, a pharmacist, is facing three federal felony counts: A conspiracy to possess/distribute prescription painkillers oxycodone and oxymorphone; distribution of oxycodone; and making a material fraudulent omission in the record-keeping of controlled substances.
Council members Melissa Matheny and Darrell Bowen both said a guilty or innocent verdict wouldn’t sway their opinions.
“In my opinion, the right thing to do would be step down for many different reasons,” Matheny said. “The truth is, it’s not really about whether he’s guilty or innocent at this point. It’s about all the negativity that falls upon the city as well. It has nothing to do with Mario personally. If it were anybody else on this council, I would feel exactly the same way.”
Bowen said he is concerned the mayor won’t be able to effectively perform the duties of his office.
“His honor and integrity have been questioned,” Bowen said. “It will be difficult for him to function.”
Council members met with City Attorney Dean Ramsey in executive session in a work session before Monday’s meeting to discuss a matter “pursuant to attorney-client privilege,” according to Blount.
Matheny said council members were told by legal counsel that they could not vote to remove the mayor unless he is convicted.
Council members seemed convinced that the decision is out of their hands.
“That’s a decision for the mayor,” Council Member Dustin Vincent said…