Members of the Pratt Town Council have asked the mayor to resign several times, but Fields has refused. In November, fed up with the mayor's legal problems, council members began the process of removing Fields from office.
Under state law, members of the Town Council can submit a petition to the Kanawha Circuit Court asking that the mayor be removed. Removal proceedings also can be started with a petition signed by 25 townspeople, or 1 percent of registered voters, whichever number is smaller.
In Pratt, where there are 603 registered voters, a petition signed by six or seven residents would be enough to start removal proceedings.
Once a petition is filed, the chief circuit judge turns the petition over to the West Virginia Supreme Court, which appoints a special three-judge panel to decide if the mayor should be removed.
Council members were considering whether to petition to have the mayor removed themselves or allow townspeople to circulate a petition. A final decision was put on hold to see what happened at this week's court hearings.
Fields said Thursday he does not intend to resign. He is about eight months into his third two-year term.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.