Clarksburg City Council voted unanimously Thursday night that a conviction for domestic assault violates moral turpitude. That means Sam "Zeke" Lopez immediately loses his seat, but it doesn't necessarily mean this headache is completely over.
"It has taken its toll on this council. Our last and final option was to unite together as a council to restore credibility and integrity to our city," Mayor Cathy Goings said after the council's vote on Thursday.
Council did unite against Lopez and his conviction for domestic assault, but not before he had his say, calling the meeting and the motion to unseat him "unconstitutional."
"What about the people who voted for me? I guess they don't count; people you don't count," Lopez said as he addressed the audience at Thursday's meeting. "You don't count in Clarksburg city election; that's what these people up here are telling you when they vote tonight."
Lopez said council members can't determine what makes other members fit for council. But the vote is in, and Lopez is out.
"We've been dealing with this for the last seven and a half months and our focus isn't where it needs to be," Goings said.
Councilwoman Margaret Bailey said, "This is a very positive move for us; forward, better things. And I know that the citizens do deserve to have the very best they can have."
However, it doesn't look like Lopez is going down without a fight, and council might not be able to move on as quickly as they want.
"I'm a winner," Lopez said as he walked out of the meeting. "I will win again if I run."
"Together, we will deal with the consequences of our final action," Goings said after the vote. "I'm not sure what exactly will be filed by Mr. Lopez and his attorney, but we will deal with it accordingly."
Council now has 30 days to fill Lopez's seat. If they can't reach an agreement by majority the seat will go to the next highest vote-getter from the last election.
Feb 14, 2014 at 12:28 AMIn Mr. Lopez's statement he indicated this was hard on his wife and family and hoped this would be the end of it no matter the outcome. Apparently he has no desire to stop punishing them. He has indicated he will be filing a law suit. Was his hope for an end no matter the outcome just a lie? I believe anyone with no morals has no problem lying to everyone.
He asked what about the people that voted for him? I ask what about the people that would not have voted for him had they known he was a criminal?