WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) In a joint statement released late Friday afternoon, Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott, Vice Mayor Chad Thalman and City Manager Robert Herron addressed remarks made at the March 16 Wheeling City Council meeting by three area college presidents.
Those presidents are Dr. Daniel Mosser of West Virginia Northern Community College; Ginny Favede of Wheeling University; and Dr. W. Franklin Evans of West Liberty University.
The topic the school officials signed up to discuss was the non-binding memorandum of understanding between the City of Wheeling and Bluefield State College (BSC) for a potential lease of a portion of the former Ohio Valley Medical Center (OVMC) campus.
Although each school president was afforded time to speak at the March 16 meeting, the majority of the time was yielded to Mosser by his colleagues.
Wheeling city officials contend that Mosser made multiple unfounded allegations of misrepresentations and ethical and/or criminal violations committed by each Elliot, Thalman and Herron.
Elliot, Thalman and Herron contend that Mosser leveled several strong accusations including the following:
- That the city officials secretly arranged for the city to fund the rehabilitation costs for space to be leased by BSC at a cost of $1.5 million and charge BSC zero percent interest on the lease and buildout and did conceal this arrangement from other members of city council and the public
- That the city officials’ undisclosed agreement with BSC will cost Wheeling taxpayers $2 million annually
- That Vice Mayor Thalman had concealed his prior familial relationship with Robin Capehart of BSC, who was previously married to the former’s aunt
- That through the aforementioned actions city officials “deliberately gamed and misled” residents of the city of Wheeling and “dragged city council members into their scheme”
- That the city officials “think they will convince city council members to buy into the GOB (Good Old Boy) scheme.”
Elliot, Thalman and Herron emphatically refute Mosser’s accusations.
They clearly say in their statement today that “The allegations made against the city officials referenced herein are unequivocally untrue.”
They go on to say that “making these allegations in a public forum without any supporting evidence represents the height of irresponsibility.”
These Wheeling city officials ask that Mosser, Favede or Evans be held accountable for the allegations lodged on March 16:
” If Dr. Mosser, Ms. Favede, or Dr. Evans have any evidence to support these alleged financial arrangements or the accompanying allegations of misconduct by city officials, now would be an appropriate to produce it. Otherwise, we are left to conclude that those making as well as those implicity endorsing these allegations have done so either with knowledge of their falsity or reckless disregard thereto. And we would respectfully request that each issue a public retraction immediately.”Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott, Vice Mayor Chad Thalman and City Manager Robert Herron
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