- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - Parkersburg Mayor Robert Newell has retired ahead of a hearing on petitions to remove him from office.

Newell announced his retirement at a news conference Wednesday in Parkersburg.

In April the state Supreme Court appointed a three-judge panel to hear separate petitions by Wood County Republican Party chairman Rob Cornelius and Parkersburg City Council member Karen Coram.

The hearing had been scheduled to start Thursday at the Wood County courthouse.

Among the allegations against the 62-year-old Newell in the petition filed by Cornelius were misconduct and neglect of duty.

Newell says his wife was on the hearing’s witness list and he didn’t want to put her through the stress of testifying.

Newell had 18 months left in his term. He says city attorney Joe Santer will be appointed acting mayor.

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