Council Will Seek to Remove Gillespie; Weapons and Ammo Allegedly Present in Home Confinement Location

Updated 5 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Council Chairman Mark Bates
Council Chairman Mark Bates
File Photo

Huntington City Council will seek to remove District II council member Pete Gillespie, if he does not resign, chairman Mark Bates told media during a 3 p.m. news conference. Bates indicated that he visited the Western Regional Jail to deliver a letter. He was allowed to give the letter to Mr. Gillespie's attorney, Amber Hanna.

Although Mr. Bates could not speak directly to either Gillespie or Ms. Hanna, a message has been conveyed that council should speak to him by  "talking to my attorney," Bates said at the news conference.

Calling the jailing of Mr. Gillespie "troubling," Bates said, "We hope he will make it easy for us," admitting that council is in uncharted waters. They will follow the city charter and state law.

Bates mentioned that they will proceed under the moral turpitude clause of the charter, but will look at other options if this one does not work favorably.

Council will take up the removal proceedings next week, if the resignation does not occur.

The Herald Dispatch has reported that Gillespie had used marijuana during his home confinement. Weapons and 900 plus rounds of ammunition were found within his residence, as well as receipts for payments on three others, according to a petition to revoke home confinement filed with the Circuit Court. The inspection of Gillespie's abode at 341 Adams Avenue came from an anonymous tip. Gillespie admitted that he had a rifle in the attic at the time of his arrest.

Bates indicated that he has spoken with all but one member of council.

Four members of counsel --- Frances Jackson, Sandra Clements, Scott Caserta and Bates --- appeared at the news conference. Only Bates spoke on camera. Earlier, councilman David Ball had been present; however according to an HD report, he left the chamber to avoid having a quorum.

As for Councilman Gillespie, he has appealed his conviction to Circuit Court. He claims the incident stems from trying to prevent his wife from taking his vehicle, rather than kicking in a door.

He has not appeared for a bond hearing, but a petition has been filed to revoke his home confinement.

Comments powered by Disqus