A Texas man who became a West Virginia mayor has a closet full of baggage, including a longstanding arrest warrant, alleged misuse of a city gas card and two unverified college degrees from the Lone Star State.
Texas authorities haven’t pressed for his return, but Richard Wayne Edwards’ political career could be over May 10 – or he could be elected mayor for another four years.
Edwards was cited by the Alamo Area Narcotics Task Force for possession of marijuana and grow-house paraphernalia in San Antonio in 2001. With charges pending, he hit the road, landing in the small town of Buckhannon, where the political neophyte became city recorder in 2014, and then mayor.
Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said his office did not pursue extradition because of the small amount of drugs involved. But he said charges would be pressed if Edwards returned to Texas.
Edwards says he wants to resolve the matter, but has no intention of coming back. “[It’s] not a top priority,” he said.
“If I don’t get elected, what difference does it make?” he told the San Antonio Express-News, while complaining of a “witch hunt” against him in Buckhannon.
“I get it. He’s playing the political game,” LaHood responded. “This guy thinks a little bit too much of himself.”