CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The publisher of a Putnam County news website was arrested Monday for allegedly harassing Workforce West Virginia staff over his unemployment benefits.
Mark Vance Hallburn, 50, of Galivants Ferry, S.C., formerly of Hurricane, who runs PutnamLive.com, placed at least 13 phone calls to Valorie Comer, deputy director of Workforce West Virginia, and her staff, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.
Hallburn was charged with a misdemeanor count of making harassing phone calls, according to the complaint.
Hallburn's calls, made on Aug. 14, were "insulting, demanding and abusive," officer R.E. Veres of the West Virginia State Capitol Police wrote in the complaint.
The calls were made, the complaint states, after Hallburn's unemployment benefits were discontinued.
"Calls continued throughout the day even after [Hallburn] was advised by the agency of his appeal options and their lack of ability to resolve his complaint over the phone," Veres wrote.
Hallburn admitted Wednesday to making numerous calls to Workforce West Virginia, but only because staff kept hanging up on him.
"I wasn't abusive, I expected to speak to supervisors and they wouldn't let me," he said. "I expected them to get my side of the story before making a fair and balanced decision. They were insulting and abusive to me."