Jerry Mezzatesta is an American politician in the U.S. state of West Virginia. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Mezzatesta was the West Virginia House of Delegates member from the 50th District which represents Mineral County and Hampshire County in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. The Charleston Gazette called him "one of West Virginia's most powerful politicians".
In 2004, Jerry Mezzatesta and his wife, Mary Lou, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge that they altered and destroyed legislative computer records. Mezzatesta lost his re-election bid that same year to Ruth Rowan. In April 2005, he was fired from his $60,000-a-year job with the Hampshire County Board of Education. In 2005, the West Virginia Ethics Commission found that Mezzatesta had violated an agreement to not use his legislative position to solicit funds for the county's school system. They subsequently fined him $2000. In September 2006, a federal grand jury indicted him and former Hampshire County Schools Superintendent David Friend on two counts of fraud and misappropriation of funds.
However, on March 30, 2007, Mezzatesta and Friend were found not guilty, and on April 23, 2009, Judge C. Reeves Taylor ruled that Mezzatesta should get his job back in the Hampshire County school system. Clearing him of the alleged ethics violations, Judge Taylor wrote that "from the record there was no agreement between the Ethics Commission and Mezzatesta at the time held the position (as a school board employee), merely a request made by him to the commission and an advisory opinion made by (the Ethics Commission) and conveyed to (Mezzatesta)." The school board paid Mezztesta a $192,00 settlement instead of rehiring him.
- "Web of Deceit: The Fall of Jerry Mezzatesta". The Charleston Gazette. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
- "Mezzatesta cleared: Ex-delegate and Hampshire schools ex-chief faced federal fraud charges". The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, W.V.). The Associated Press. March 31, 2007. p. 1.A.
- Mezzatesta Gets Job Back - West Virginia Headline News and Talk Radio
- "Mezzatesta ordered to pay ethics fine". Charleston Daily Mail. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. June 7, 2006. p. 7.A.
- Mezzatesta » Editorials » The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia
- Staff, wire reports (July 30, 2009). "SETTLEMENT:; Hampshire to pay Mezzatesta $192,000 settlement". The Charleston Gazette. p. A.1.
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