KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — In their Thursday meeting, the Kanawha County Commission has approved to remove John Rubin and replace him with Chris Billo as the chairman for the Public Service District.
This comes after a whistleblower came forward claiming the now-former chairman Rubin misused county funds and personnel to build a barn on his property in Hernshaw.
In light of the allegations, the county commission decided to remove Rubin from the position.
“I wrote Mr. Rubin a letter, told him that I believed he had disqualified himself for different reasons and we were going to replace him. And that’s what we did,” Kent Carper, Kanawha County Commission President, said.
Carper says he’s been in contact with the Kanawha PSD attorney ever since concerns were first brought to his attention two weeks ago.
“He told me different things that had occurred. To me it seemed not even close to being a good thing,” Carper said. “He also told me that the individual Mr. Rubin wouldn’t communicate with him, and he said he wasn’t coming back. So, to me that was a de facto resignation.”
Prior to his removal, Carper says Rubin held the position for at least 10 years, and was recently reappointed for another six year term ending in 2027.
“Never had a concerned raised to me. Never heard anything, or I would’ve done something about this a long time ago,” Carper said.
His replacement, Chris Billo, was sworn in moments after Rubin was removed.
“My interest is for the people of Cheylan and to serve them and do what I can for the board of the PSD as best I can,” Billo said.
An official from the WV auditor’s office was in attendance, per request of carper, but they could not provide a comment.
Carper also says this situation is being looked at by the WV auditor’s office as well as other appropriate agencies including the prosecutor’s office.
Investigations have been underway at the Kanawha County Public Service District involving allegations of wrongdoing, according to County Commissioners Ben Salango and Lance Wheeler.
The meeting agenda for Thursday lists the item as “Order appointing Chris Billo to the Kanawha Public Service District filling the unexpired term of John Rubin.”
“There are allegations that came to our attention of misuse of funds by John Rubin as a board member of Kanawha PSD,” says Kanawha County Commissioner Lance Wheeler.
The district itself provides sewer service to about 2,800 customers and recently applied for a quarter of a million dollars in funding from the American Rescue Plan.