Keyser residents come to Zacot's defense, ask city council to reconsider
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - As the Keyser City Council was discussing councilman William Zacot’s fate Wednesday, two Keyser residents made impassioned pleas for the officials to keep him in his seat for the benefit of the community’s children.
Zacot, who entered a plea of no contest to felony embezzlement on Jan. 27, is currently on probation for the offense.
Throughout the court case, however, numerous area residents have taken to social media to defend him and the various recreational and charitable programs he has spearheaded for the city and as a member of the community.
“He does more for the kids of this community than we’ll ever know,” Shawn Snyder said during the meeting Wednesday. “I’ve never known a better person.”
Snyder, who attended Zacot’s sentencing hearing in July, claimed Zacot’s reputation for helping community youths “weighed heavily” in the judge’s decision to reduce the seven years probation to two years.
“None of you were at the sentencing; none of you heard the wonderful things Judge Nelson said about him,” Snyder said.
“He made a mistake; he does not need to be removed from council,” Snyder said. “We all know he can’t handle the money, but that can be worked around.
“He is beloved by the community. Please think about what you’re going to do because you don’t have to do it,” he said.
Another resident, Cathy Bridges, also spoke up for Zacot.
“I don’t know him personally, but I know what he’s done for the children of the community,” she said.
Noting that he’s not perfect, she said, “If everybody shook the skeletons out of their closet, Keyser would be buried.
“Just let it go,” she implored the council. “There are so many more important things.
“These people that want to judge this man better look at the thousand good things he’s done….He’s a good man all the way around. I don’t want to see him taken off council. We need him,” she said.
Mayor Damon Tillman told the crowd that, as mayor, he doesn’t have a vote in the issue, unless he would be needed to break a tie.
“I don’t have the authority to remove Mr. Zacot. If I had a vote, I’d vote no,” he said.
“But now that I know what the law says, I have to stand by the law. Yes, Mr. Zacot is a friend, but the law is the law.”