Suit filed to remove the majority of Morgantown council from office

Mon Justice Exterior
The suit against council members was filed in the new county justice center.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —  Four of Morgantown’s 7 city council members are named in a civil complaint filed in Monongalia County Circuit Court Thursday.

George Papandreas, city resident, business owner and former candidate for council, is petitioning for the removal council members Bill Kawecki, Jenny Selin, Nancy Ganz and Mayor Marti Shamberger from their offices.

“We’ve watched the blatant violations of the charter, in some cases election law, in some cases state law and in a couple questionable cases maybe even federal law.” Papandreas claimed.  “Morgantown’s a great city, and it deserves a lot better.”

The complaint states the elected officials “are guilty of misconduct, malfeasance in office, incompetence and neglect of duty.”

In the 11-page petition, 6 separate counts make accusations against one or more of the respondents in the case. Click to read the Papandreas suit against council members.

Deputy Mayor Bill Kawecki is accused of violating election laws by emailing Morgantown employees and government administrators and leaders soliciting support, in the form of volunteerism or  financial contributions for him or the political action committee Morgantown Together.

The pac supported the re-election of each council member listed in the complaint.

“These people, when they get on city council, they swear to only do 3 things.  They swear the uphold the constitution of the United State, the constitution of the state of West Virginia and the city charter. If they aren’t going to do those responsibilities, they lose the trust of the people to serve them,” Papandreas said.

Selin, who was mayor at the time of the accusations, and Ganz are accused of protecting self interests when they were among those to introduce or approve a ward and boundaries proposal that had not been recommended by the ward and boundaries commission.  The original proposal would have moved placed Selin and Ganz in the same ward which would have meant they had to run against each other the election that was ahead of them.

Current Mayor Shamberger is accused of violating city charter and procedure that requires council members to communicate directly with the city manager but not other city employees.

“Mayor Shamberger has contacted the police to request vehicles be ticketed and presumably removed from her street,” according to the complaint.

The signatures of more than 50 city residents, including current council members Jay Redmond, Wes Nugent and Ron Bane, are included with the petition to remove the 4 council members from office.

The suit requests a 3 judge panel to review the claims and approve the requests.