KEYSER - Mineral County resident Vallie Fisher spoke during the recent Mineral County Commission on several matters, including pay raises for county employees and possible conflict of interest issues.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Mineral County resident Vallie Fisher spoke during the recent Mineral County Commission on several matters, including pay raises for county employees and possible conflict of interest issues.
Fisher first approached the recent raises which she said Luke McKenzie, Office of Emergency Management/911 director, received at $4,000. She then addressed county coordinator Drew Brubaker, asking if he also was given a raise, and he said that he was.
Commissioner Roger Leatherman said when McKenzie was hired, “There were five applications and Luke was the best qualified.”
Whisner echoed the same and said that McKenzie and Brubaker were both “highly qualified.”
Fisher questioned the reasoning behind giving the two raises, “When we need money for the girls in the courthouse.”
She also drew attention to what she called a conflict of interest, mentioning the connection of Jerry Whisner, commissioner, and Kevin Clark, director of the development authority, being “in business together.”
Fisher inquired if the two were in a partnership while the motion was approved during a development authority meeting for Clark’s $30,000 raise earlier this year.
Whisner answered, “I bought out Kevin, earlier this year,” and the raise for Clark happened months later. Whisner said that he had contacted the West Virginia Ethics Commission about voting for the raise, and, “They said it was okay.”
Fisher had in her possession a deed of trust showing several lots in the Ashby Crest Estates Subdivision were issued in October 2016 to Premier Homes and Development, LLC, with the address in Keyser as 279 St. Cloud Street.
The document was signed by Jerry Whisner and Kevin Clark.
Whisner also explained that Clark is not a county employee, but is employed by the development authority, and the amount of raise for Clark went through “pass through funds,” meaning the $30,000 will be reimbursed to the county commission through the development authority.