After City Manager Bob Herron was arrested for drunk driving earlier in March, the City of Wheeling has been figuring out what to do with that position going forward.
Currently, Herron is suspended without pay. Fire Chief Larry Helms is serving as the acting city manager. Neither of these situations changed at Thursday night’s council meeting.
The council did, however, pass a pair of resolutions that will help the city move forward.
The first resolution passed by the council allows Mayor Glenn Elliott to enter negotiations with outside legal counsel for consultation “as needed on personnel matters concerning the City Manager.” The resolution also directs the city’s Legal Department to help review any documents necessary to this process.
The second resolution allows for Mayor Elliott to enlist the help of the Ohio Valley Regional Development Authority and West Virginia Municipal League for Acting City Manager Helms, as he is also the current Fire Chief.
Mayor Elliott spoke with 7News about the resolutions, as well as the city manager position.
“We’re going to be in a holding pattern for awhile until things work themselves out,” Elliott said. “Chief Helms, we believe, is completely capable of running the city here in the short-term. The idea was to bring in some individuals to make sure that he has advice and consultation on the project side of things.”
Mayor Elliott also stressed the importance of the city maintaining normal, efficient operations. “We have some projects cued up, the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel building in particular is something we worked on for several years,” he said. “The work on that project can’t stop now just because we have an acting city manager. We have to keep moving forward.”
As for suspended city manager Robert Herron, the DUI arrest is not the first problem he has encountered since taking over that job.
Recently, 7news received a copy of the West Virginia Ethics Comission’s 2017 report. A portion of that report states that in February 2017, Herron agreed to pay a 500-dollar fine and complete ethics training after bringing personally-owned vehicles to the city garage during a mechanic’s paid work time.
Herron neither compensated the city or the mechanic for the work.
7News will continue to keep you updated on this story both on-air and on our website.