PRATT, W.Va. -- Pratt Mayor Gary Fields refused a unanimous request from council members Monday night to step down.
Council members met in a closed-door executive session during a special meeting before making the request. Fields said he was notified of the council's feelings Monday morning.
"I personally don't feel that I should resign," Fields told council after he denied their request.
He said there were projects he wanted to see through, such as the upgrades to the town's water and sewer systems. The town sold it's dilapidated water system to West Virginia American Water, which plans to improve the town's infrastructure and lay an additional 9,000 feet of pipe to connect the town to facilities in Charleston.
State Police allege Fields had illegal prescription painkillers when he was stopped in a city-owned police cruiser in August. Council members later stripped him of his vehicle privileges.
"It was more of a personal thing," Fields told reporters after the meeting. "It wasn't nothing out of line -- just I had something I shouldn't have had on me but it was legal."
Fields said the pills belonged to his wife and he shouldn't have had them in his possession.
"If I would have been out buying off the street, that would have been a reason for me to step down," he said.
The arresting officer wrote in the criminal complaint that Fields told him he got the roxycodone pills from a friend.
"I didn't buy nothing. They belonged to my wife," Fields said after the meeting Monday night.
Fields, 66, will answer a summons charging him with a single misdemeanor simple possession later this month.
He said the Sept. 10 decision of council members to take away his vehicle use privileges was a good move.
Councilwoman Kaye Ford told the Kanawha County Commission during a meeting last month that council was upset he was using the vehicle for personal business. The mayor up until then apparently did not have a vehicle of his own, she said.
Eric Eagle, Pratt police chief, briefly chauffeured Fields on town related business, the chief said during the same meeting.
"The personal issues that I had started out as a minor thing and it kind of blew out when my wife did some things that weren't very kosher," Fields said during the meeting. "I discussed that with her and I asked her before I come up here if she wants me to resign or if she wants me to resign or if she wants to be the first lady of Pratt.
"She give me her promise that she would not cause no more problems. If something would come up down the road, I will automatically resign rather than embarrass the town."
Kanawha sheriff's deputies arrested Norma Fields in February 2011, alleging she was swinging a metal cane at Mayor Fields outside of their home. She was charged in that incident with domestic battery.
"I honestly don't want to do nothing to embarrass this town of Pratt," Fields said. "I love it here.
"I've learned a lesson … it won't happen again."
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.