Fields cleared of wrongdoing

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2008

COAL GROVE — A review by Coal Grove Village Counsel Mark K. McCown has exonerated village clerk-treasurer Debbie Fields from any wrongdoing concerning an account at the South Point Sam’s Club.

According to a letter from McCown to Mayor Larry McDaniel and the council, the attorney said Fields believed she had gotten a personal line of credit at the discount store.

“When in fact Sam’s Club had extended a business line of credit,” McCown’s letter states. “Ms Fields apparently used the credit line only for personal use, paid sales taxes on the appropriate items, and paid on the account using only personal funds.”

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When Fields learned the account was for the village, she closed it and informed the village officials, McCown said.

“I find no evidence to support a conclusion other than a miscommunication occurred between Ms. Fields and the Sam’s Club representative who set up the account,” his letter states.

McCown presented his findings to the council Tuesday night in a specially called session. That was the second meeting in a week on the matter. The council also met on May 27.

McCown declined to give any further details saying he was not authorized by the village officials to make any other statements.

Fields, contacted at the village office Wednesday, said the village account had been opened in 2004 before she took office.

When asked how much was charged to the village account, Fields said, “Not going to say.”

When asked the date when she discovered the error, she said, “I don’t have the exact date.”

When asked if she had an approximate date, she said, “Not that I care to give.”