Clarksburg City Council met Thursday night and again residents demanded answers regarding Sam "Zeke" Lopez's status on council. Last month Lopez was found guilty of domestic assault.
Clarksburg residents spoke at length regarding domestic violence, moral turpitude and wanted answers as to whether Lopez would step-down from counsel or remain in his current seat as councilman.
Councilman Jim Malfregeot asked that an executive session be called to discuss the matter with the Mayor and the legal counsel. The Clarksburg City Council voted 3 to 3 after executive session killing the motion to direct the city attorney to initiate a declaratory judgement involving the definition of moral turpitude.
"Our number one focus at this point is to take a look at the charter and amend it going forward so that this doesn't happen again, because as we indicated the charter was written in 1957, you know our society is so different today," said Mayor Cathy Goings.
Goings also said working to fix the city charter and moving forward on other issues. She also expressed that council is tired of focusing on Lopez and wants the council to focus on the city and its future projects, such as a hotel and conference center, cultural interest and paving project.
Clarksburg City Council met for the first time Thursday after Sam "Zeke" Lopez was found guilty of domestic assault.
Clarksburg residents were on hand and wanted answers as to whether Lopez would step-down from council or remain in his current seat as councilman. The Clarksburg City Council Charter states, "If a councilman shall cease to be qualified or shall be convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, his office shall immediately become vacant."
"Moral turpitude as you are referring to is a very gray area and we actually are working with our legal counsel to get a definite description of that or meaning of that," said Mayor Goings.
Goings said, she hopes that legal counsel can come up with the meaning to moral turpitude and how it applies to Clarksburg's City Council Charter. She also said that council is taking time to work with a legal counsel to determine what council can do until the council will then make a decision.
For now Lopez will remain on council. He has 20 days to file an appeal to his charges of domestic assault.
Lopez released a statement to 12 News about the ruling against him, to read the statement in its entirety, click here.