Mayor Bob Gibbs of Sawmills resigns

Aug. 26, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Sawmills' mayor resigned Monday morning, one week after turning himself in to Hudson police to face charges related to more than $11,000 in unauthorized checks on an account belonging to his father.

"Events of the last week that should have been handled in a private family matter has placed a doubt upon my effectiveness to serve as mayor," Gibbs wrote in a letter of resignation given to Town Administrator Seth Eckard. "I in no way wish to cause any distraction for the town or the citizens.

"I wish to see the progress that has been made over the last 10 years of my service to this town continue."

Gibbs, 59, of Duff Drive said in an interview he made his decision over the weekend after much prayer and soul-searching.

"My personal life is fine," he added.

Gibbs is accused of forging the signature of his father, William Robert Gibbs Jr., on 12 checks totaling $11,285 drawn on his father's account at a PNC Bank in Hudson between April 5, 2012, and July 9, 2012, according to indictments issued Aug. 11 by a Caldwell County grand jury. Gibbs and his brother, Mark, shared power-of-attorney access to the account.

Gibbs first was elected mayor in 2009 and was re-elected last fall to another four-year term. Before that, he served on the Sawmills Town Council and was mayor pro tem from 2005 to 2009.

Eckard said the council will meet Sept. 16 to discuss replacing Gibbs. The council members may select one of their own members to become mayor or may choose another town resident. If a council member is chosen to replace Gibbs, a new council member will be chosen at that time, Eckard said.

Mayor pro tem Trena McRary Kirby will act in place of Gibbs until a replacement is chosen. The mayor is not a voting member of the council, but while serving as acting mayor Kirby will still be able to vote, Eckard said.

Eckard said he was saddened by the recent developments, in part because Gibbs hired Eckard in January 2011.

"I was fresh out of college at Appalachian State University," Eckard said. "When I was hired as the town administrator, Bob pulled me aside and said, 'You got this, kid.'"

Mark Gibbs posted a message of support for his brother on the town's Facebook page.

"Bob is a good man and brother," the message said. "He has made some mistakes. All of us have. We are working together as a family to try and resolve this matter."