Bath Police Chief resigns; interim chief to be decided

by Trish Rudder

Bath Police Chief William Carper resigned his position on May 28. It was not disclosed in the Bath Town Council meeting on June 4.

According to a message to The Morgan Messenger on Monday evening, June 10, it said that Carper was forced to resign and Mayor Scott Merki did not announce it because “the firing was inappropriate and childishly wrong.”

Councilman Greg Schene who works on the town Finance Committee, denied that claim, and said on Tuesday, June 11, that Carper made it known in April that he was looking for another job that might come as early as June.

Schene said at a Public Safety Committee meeting on May 28, Carper said he was still waiting for the job offer to come through, and the Public Safety Committee recommended that Carper step down so “we could get ahead of this and move forward for a replacement and Carper resigned.”

After Carper resigned, Schene said his job was to go through the closure process of getting his Bath police department credentials, and the meeting was without incident.

“We met cordially and respectfully,” Schene said.

Schene said the town’s first priority is providing solid law enforcement in the Town of Bath.

Full time police patrolman Ron Gardner is likely to be the interim police chief, while the town looks for Carper’s replacement. It will continue to have backup help from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and the WV State Police Berkeley Springs Detachment.

The Bath Town Council were set to vote on Tuesday, June 18 for Gardner to become the interim police chief for the town.