Council appoints Fire Chief Larry Helms as acting Wheeling City Manager

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UPDATE, 3/12/2019, 10:10 a.m.:

Wheeling Fire Chief is now the acting City Manager as Robert Herron has been suspended indefinitely without pay.

City council made the decision after meeting for more than 3 hours Monday night.

Council’s full statement on the matter is as follows:

We on City council are deeply troubled by the alleged conduct involving City Manager Robert Herron. As this is a pending legal matter, we are withholding further comment at this time. As this matter moves forward, it is imperative that the business of the city goes on. We have full faith in the abilities of Fire Chief Larry Helms to serve as acting city manager.

In accordance with his administrative suspension, Mr. Herron will surrender all city equipment in his possession. We thank Chief Helms for his willingness to take on this expanded role and pledge to him our full support and cooperation.

“I am humbled that city council trusts me to maintain the day-to-day functionality of the City of Wheeling. I look forward to the challenge of my city role,” said Helms.

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UPDATE, 3/11/2019, 9:30 p.m.:

Wheeling City Manger Robert Herron has been suspended indefinitely without pay.

This comes as the result of a more than three-hour meeting on Monday night.

During his suspension, Council has appointed a familiar face to be the acting city manager.

“The city council of the City of Wheeling, hereby appoints Fire Chief Larry Helms as Acting City Manager, to serve with all powers invested in the City Manager by virtue of the Charter of the City of Wheeling until such time as determined otherwise by action of this City Council,” said Brenda Delbert, City Clerk, Wheeling.”

As part of the suspension, Herron must surrender all city equipment.

At this time the city isn’t making any further comment on the situation.

Stay with 7News for updates on this story.

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UPDATE, 3/11/2019, 12:06 p.m.: The Wheeling City Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday to discuss personnel matters.

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According to authorities, Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron was arrested in downtown Wheeling Saturday evening.

Herron reportedly crashed into another vehicle on 16th and Market Streets around 11 p.m. Wheeling Police responded to the scene and notified the Ohio County Sheriff’s Office since a city official was involved. 

The Ohio County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged Herron with Driving Under the Influence Aggravated with a BAC .305. Herron was then transported to the West Virginia Northern Regional Jail.

Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott issued the following statement Sunday morning:

“I have, this morning, alerted all members of Wheeling City Council of this incident and intend to call for a special meeting as soon as possible this week so that we can discuss this matter and its impact on City operations. We will have much more to say about this matter as more facts become available.”

No injuries have been reported.

This is a developing story. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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