Councilman Barber enters guilty plea

PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg City Councilman Eric Barber pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of disorderly conduct from a July incident.

Barber, 39, of 900 13th St., Parkersburg, entered the plea before Wood County Magistrate Jody Purkey on Tuesday. As a result, he was fined $170.25. A charge of obstruction was dismissed.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the court, Barber arrived at the scene of a police call and began taking video. A family member of the person involved asked him to stop, and Barber responded the video would not be shared publicly.

When the family member said taking the video was disrespectful given the nature of the incident, which law enforcement officials declined to disclose, citing laws relating to privacy and medical care — Barber moved away, the complaint says, then made a vulgar statement about the individual involved.

An officer stepped in front of him and advised him to stop, the complaint says. Barber then walked back onto the sidewalk, “continuing to make loud verbal statements directed toward the involved party, causing additional agitation to the involved party,” the complaint says.

Then, the complaint says, Barber began to walk away, still making “loud verbal statements” to the individual. The officer who filed the complaint, Patrolman B.D. Elliott, told him “to cease and desist his disorderly behavior and also advised the (defendant) to stop,” it says.

Barber continued making remarks and walking away, the complaint says, and was “forcibly taken to the ground.”

Previously, Barber had said he was agitated because of past encounters he has had with the individual involved. Police said no charges had been filed against the other individual in two separate incidents, one because Barber elected not to and the other because there was not sufficient evidence.

Barber could not be reached for comment on Tuesday’s court action.

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