At a Clarksburg City Council meeting on August 1, councilwoman Margaret Bailey asked that her name be removed from the statement council presented at the last council meeting. Bailey also asked that Sam "Zeke" Lopez immediately resign after Clarksburg police charged Lopez with misdemeanor domestic battery.
The charge against Lopez stems from an incident with his wife back in April.
At the meeting, Bailey recounted her own experience with domestic violence and said she nearly lost her life due to the effects of mental and physical abuse.
Bailey said whether Lopez is found guilty or not, it is upsetting that the information was not released until after Lopez was re-elected to City Council in June. The case against Lopez will be handled in Harrison County Magistrate Court with a special prosecutor from Marion County.
Police Chief Marshall Goff and Lieutenant Tim Smith have already resigned for their involvement in the investigation.
A longtime Clarksburg City Council member has called on Councilman Sam "Zeke" Lopez to resign following a domestic battery allegation on April 2.
"I believe it's in the best interest of the city and what city council is trying to accomplish, that we need to see Mr. Lopez submit his resignation and move on," said councilwoman Margaret Bailey. "My concern is for the people of Clarksburg, they're quite hurt, they're confused, they don't understand all of the things that are happening to this beautiful city. If I were in the same position, I would resign," Bailey said.
Bailey feels that while Lopez hasn't been convicted of the domestic battery charge, that his presence is damaging the public perception of city council. "I hope the public demands that this be handled correctly, I'm so sad that this has happened," Bailey said, "I hope that he will realize in the long run that the city comes first."
Clarksburg Police charged Lopez with the crime on July 3, nearly three months after the alleged incident occurred. He was re-elected to Clarksburg City Council in June. Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Shaffer recused himself from handling the case after rumors circulated that he tried to cover up the incident. The case has been sent to a special prosecutor in Marion County. Clarksburg Police Chief Marshall Goff and Lt. Tim Smith resigned from their positions in connection to the case to avoid federal charges of lying to investigators, said U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld. Lt. Rob Hilliard was named interim Chief of Police. Ihlenfeld has said it's unclear if any other state, city or local officials will face charges in this matter.
The Clarksburg City Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 18.