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UPDATE: Parkersburg Mayor Discusses Civil Service Commission Appointment

By: Todd Baucher, Abbie Schrader Email
By: Todd Baucher, Abbie Schrader Email
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UPDATE 4/4/2014 5:00 PM

Following a several month long stalemate between the mayor's office and the civil service commission a member resigned and suddenly promotions came through at the Parkersburg Police Department.

Now a move to appoint a new member by the FOP could be seen as politically polarizing too, as Sharyn Tallman is a long time opponent of Mayor Bob Newell.

Mayor Newell says the problems which led him to seek the resignations have already been taken care of.

And he doesn't believe that will change with Tallman's appointment.

The mayor says it was the failure of the commission to schedule examinations for new officers which led him to seek the resignations of members Joe Gonzales and commission president Robert Campbell.

And he cites the recent hirings of new police officers, with seven more to be hired soon, as another indication.

"They got us to the point where we were very low on manpower. They refused to give a patrolmen's test, maybe for well over a year, edging up to two years," says Mayor Newell. "It was dangerous for the police officers, it was dangerous for the citizens, it was costing us a lot of overtime."

The mayor cited a court ruling which upheld the firing of a Parkersburg Police Officer as a reason changes were needed in the civil service commission.

We have not been able to reach Tallman or Fraternal Order of Police President Chris Moorehead for comment.

But FOP secretary Rick Modesitt, in his letter announcing Tallman's appointment, said this about the former councilwoman"

"Her credentials are outstanding, and we believe she will continue the service on the commission with honesty and fairness, just as Mr. Gonzales did."

And the mayor was quick to point out that Modesitt, like Tallman, was a former election opponent.


Update: 4/3/2014 7:20 P.M.

A former city council member and candidate for Parkersburg mayor is now a member of the Parkersburg Civil Service Commission.

Sharyn Tallman has been appointed a commission member by the Fraternal Order of Police Blennerhassett Lodge #79.

Tallman was a member of city council for 12 years before trying unsuccessfully to unseat Mayor Bob Newell two years ago.

In a letter to City Clerk Connie Shaffer, F.O.P. Secretary Rick Modesitt said Tallman meets the requirements to be a commission member, being a registered Republican and a city resident.

Tallman will serve the unexpired term of Joe Gonzales, one of two commissioners Mayor Newell asked last fall to resign.

Modesitt says appointment was made by a unanimous vote of the F.O.P.

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UPDATE 11/19/2013 4:50 PM

After an ongoing battle with the mayor, a resignation from the Police Civil Service Commission.

Parkersburg Police Civil Service Commission President Robert Campbell officially resigned from his post.

Mayor Bob Newell accused Campbell of failing to perform the commission's legal duties, including required testing for jobs in the police department and was wanting him to resign.

But in his resignation letter Campbell talks about issues with the mayor.

He says:

"I hereby tender my resignation as a commissioner of the Parkersburg Police Civil Service Commisson. I have served with integrity and devotion...

I resign because of the hostile environment you have created over the last several months. In my consideration, you have written derogatory, defamatory, unprofessional, demeaning, and threatening letters to the commission in an effort to get your wishes."

Mayor Newell tells WTAP News he appreciates Robert Campbell's service and resignation. _____________________________________________________
He wants two civil service commissioners out and Parkersburg's mayor is willing to go to court to do it.

The city filed a petition to remove Civil Service Commission Member Joe Gonzales.

It's a follow-up to a letter the mayor sent last week to Gonzales and Commission President Robert Campbell wanting them to resign.

Mayor Newell accuses the two of failing to perform the commission's legal duties and abuse of authority, along with other violations of state law.

The mayor, in part, accuses the commissioners of failure to conduct required tests for positions in the police department.

Neither Gonzales nor Campbell formally resigned their posts, although Mayor Newell has been told Campbell intends to do so.


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