Patterson Tenders Resignation

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Patterson Tenders Resignation
By Lauren Matthews - Staff Writer, Wetzel Chronicle

Wetzel County Board of Education Vice President Bob Patterson has tendered his resignation, effective today.

In the letter to Board President Mike Blair and Superintendent Leatha Williams, Patterson said he feels he can no longer be an effective member of the board.

"The turmoil in the school system during this time of change in leadership has resulted in animosity, contention, false accusations, and a stalemate of philosophies which negatively affects the students of Wetzel County."

In conclusion, Patterson said he is grateful for having the opportunity to serve on the board for the past several years and he offered his "best wishes for its continued success."

At the Monday, Nov. 16 meeting of the board of education, parent Johnna Harter had spoken concerning an incident that occurred at the Nov. 2 meeting.

Harter explained that her son, Evan Harter, had spoken at the board meeting and was approached by a board member after the meeting. Harter said the board member acted "very inappropriately."

Harter went on to say that she filed a claim with the West Virginia Board of Ethics and is awaiting their action. She said she will also be circulating a petition. This petition calls for the removal of the board member from his position. Harter said she needs 50 registered voters of Wetzel County to sign. She said she is charging that the board member has shown official misconduct.

Harter said the charges and petition would be entered into record at the courthouse and the board member would be summoned to appear and answer to the charges.

Previously Harter, along with her son Evan Harter, had told the Wetzel Chronicle that Board Member Bob Patterson had used inappropriate language toward Evan at the Nov. 2 board meeting. When first speaking to the board Monday night, Harter used Patterson's name. However Harter was directed by Board President Mike Blair to not use names of personnel in her presentation, per board policy.

However, on Monday, Nov. 16 Patterson approached the Wetzel Chronicle and issued a public apology. Patterson said he made a mistake and regrets his actions in using an inappropriate term, but contends that the language he used was not directed toward Evan. Patterson said he had approached Evan at the board meeting in an effort to address Evan's concerns and to offer assistance. Patterson said the use of an inappropriate term was not connected nor associated with Evan in any way.

Patterson was not present at Monday night's board meeting.