Bill O'Brien sworn in Friday as Beckley Mayor

Local - 1/3/2014 6:00 PM by Karen Franklin

BECKLEY - The empty seat in the middle of the Beckley City Hall chambers is now filled. After a majority vote by councilmen, Bill O'Brien began his first half day as Mayor of the City of Beckley.

"I went over to the mayor's office just a few minutes ago to look at it," O'Brien said. "I'd been in there a few times for official business over the years, but now it's just great to see what there is for us to sit on."

O'Brien beat out Councilman Cedric Robertson Thursday night. At 1 p.m. Friday, he was sworn in by Judge Robert Burnside Jr. alongside his wife.

"I have such confidence in him because he's an excellent business man, but most of all, he's fair, and he's just the greatest person I've ever known in my life," Lynn O'Brien said.

Business owner Sue Fazio attended the ceremony.

"I find him to be honest," she told WOAY. "I find him to have integrity and to do the best that he can for the City of Beckley."

O'Brien is a radio personality and former owner of WJLS. He's entering the political world without any experience.

"We're all going to be in there helping him," Councilman Tim Berry said. "We've all been in the process for many, many years. We understand the way the city operates, so I think we'll be an asset to the mayor when he needs us."

Emmett Pugh resigned from his term Wednesday amid allegations he violated the Code of Ethics. O'Brien will fill the position until June of 2016.

"I'm looking at the mayor's office and realizing the legacy that he is leaving," O'Brien told WOAY. "Those are big shoes to fill. I'll do my best."


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