The West Virginia Fire Commission has ordered Clarksburg's Code Enforcement Office cease and desist operations following the Commission's consolidated complaint and notice of hearing against the city
. The Commission's complaint alleges that Clarksburg Code Office employees were unlicensed or had invalid continuing education certificates and that employees utilized an unlawful building code
to target specific properties and property owners.
Since filing the initial complaint, the Commission said that agents of Clarksburg have retaliated against property owners by revoking issued building permits without valid stop work orders and generally continuing to violate the state's building code, said the letter addressed to Clarksburg Mayor Cathy Goings.
The letter, written by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Connolly, orders the Clarksburg Code Enforcement office to cease and desist all building code enforcement until a current version of the building code is utilized. All uncertified employees should also stop, as well as currently certified employees. "should you fail to comply, the Commission will have no choice but to take further action to ensure that you are not engaging in building code enforcement without adopting the most current version of the State Building Code and allowing person(s) to conduct inspections without a valid certification," said the letter.
Former Councilman, Martin Shaffer said that there are numerous examples where Clarksburg has torn down houses that didn't need to be torn down. "The Fire Marshall is saying wait a minute, you've got this selective enforcement, you know your going after people because you don't like them. That's against the Constitution of the United States its equal protection under the law, you know these council members don't understand what civil right means. They don't understand."
Since filing the complaint, the commission said agents of Clarksburg have revoked building permits without stop-work orders and violated the state building code.
The letter said the city building code must comply with the state code. Mayor Cathy Goings declined to comment on the letter Wednesday evening, citing that she had not received a copy.