If the Guinness Book of World Records has a category for local government headaches, Ron Gregory should be the hands-down winner. During his quarter-century career, he has been embroiled in ceaseless turmoil.
When he was Kanawha County's manager, former County Clerk Alma King called him "a loose cannon floundering around in the courthouse" and worse epithets. During a stormy county commission meeting, former Marmet Mayor Bill Pauley called him a "skunk." Gregory was fired in 1990 after failing to detect a $1 million budget shortage.
Gregory became manager of a St. Albans sewer district, where he was accused of improper borrowing and defaulting on bond payments.
He helped run a St. Albans publication that wasn't on county tax books -- and which defended the slavery side of the Civil War.
He became Charleston's assistant mayor, but usurped a handicapped parking space and was demoted to parks director -- a job in which he was accused of splitting purchase orders to avoid bidding laws. He wrote fake news stories that were passed around City Hall, causing bafflement.
Four years ago, he was accused of embezzlement in a Monroe County housing project -- but charges were dropped when neither the accuser nor the arresting officer showed up for a hearing.
Lately, he was suspended by the Lincoln Public Service District and sued for alleged failure to deliver election campaign materials.
He became coordinator of the Kanawha County Fair, but was fired in December for taking a county car to Lincoln County without permission. Now the fair itself has been terminated because Gregory solicited funds for it and tried to claim a 30 percent commission for money-raising. He says he has a contract to that effect, but county officials never heard of it.
Local government often is messy, but Gregory seems to be a record-setter.