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Weirton wants money back from former mayor

Updated: Friday, February 21 2014, 04:26 PM EST

HANCOCK COUNTY – An embezzlement case out of Hancock County has an indictment handed down against a former city mayor.

The indictment names Mark Harris and a co-conspirator as his wife for embezzling money from the Weirton skateboard park.

City attorney Vince Guerra says they are waiting for a special prosecutor to be assigned to the case. Once that has been decided, the case can move forward. But he added the city’s primary concern is reclaiming the money taken.

It’s an investigation that spans back to 2012 into Harris, who is accused of taking more than $16,000 from the fund.

“We understand that some cases are hard to prosecute, and whether or not this case gets dismissed or doesn't get dismissed, whether it moves forward or doesn't move forward, the city has lost funds in excess of $16,000,” Guerra said. “And we wish to recoup that money.”

Guerra adds that a letter sent to prosecutors has been misunderstood to appear that the city would drop the charges if full restitution of the money was made.

He said it’s up to those prosecuting the case – rather than the city – to determine whether or not the charges brought against Harris and his wife are dropped.

“The city is merely a victim,” he said. “And as the victim, the city stated clearly, we don't know whether or not the criminal case will proceed or will not precede, all we're requesting is our funds be returned."

Otherwise the city is out of money.

Guerra says he’d be surprised if a special prosecutor isn’t appointed within a week to a month.

Weirton wants money back from former mayor

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