As a result, a handful of citizens used the public comment portion of Thursday’s meeting to voice their concerns about Gordon. Barbara Fuller, a Kearneysville resident, noted that as a taxpayer, she was disheartened to see that there was nothing on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting dedicated to addressing the finance director.
The allegations were initially reported by Jefferson County Perspective, a local watchdog group, on its Facebook page.
Another resident from Harpers Ferry noted how “in this day and age, we can’t even look like there’s a misuse of funds,” as she addressed the commission.
“At first, I found them hard to believe,” Fuller said of claims addressing Gordon’s qualifications, “so I did a little digging and lo and behold, it’s true. Due diligence was not followed, and shame on those who made the decision to hire her in 2016.”
Both commenters asked the commission to conduct an audit dating back to 2016, when Gordon took on the role of Jefferson County’s finance director. The commission did not respond Thursday to those who spoke — though it is common for local governing bodies to not immediately respond to those commenting at public meetings.
“If this report is true, we need to be absolutely careful that we maintain the balance of power in a lawful manner,” she added. “I’m speaking for the community. The general consensus is we’re pissed. We’re really pissed.”
Commissioner Clare Ath, meanwhile, made a motion to request a special session to address the matter after the public comment section of the meeting concluded, but Commissioner Jane Tabb noted that Commissioner Ath was out of order, because the proposed special session was not on the agenda. Reached for comment Thursday, Commission President Steve Stolipher explained that he received an email request to hold a special session aimed at addressing the issues from Ath after the meeting.
“Because this is a personnel issue, I really can’t comment on it,” Stolipher said, though he did add that he thinks the commission we will try to schedule the special session for as soon as possible.
That in mind, and because it’s a personnel issue, it is likely the bulk of the special session will be conducted in executive session. Messages for Gordon, as well as County Administrator Stephanie Grove, were not returned.