The superintendent of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park has been relieved of his duties, reprimanded, and suspended for 30 days without pay for "misconduct and management improprieties," according to Interior Department and National Park Service officials.
The superintendent, 50-year-old Martin Conway, who has been with the park service since 1962, has appealed the action and is seeking to have his suspension overturned.
Conway could not be reached yesterday and Interior spokesmen refused to release any details of the charges against Conway, who is paid about $28,000 a year and has been chief of the West Virginia park since 1972.
The park, located about 70 miles northwest of Washington at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, has 26 employes, an annual budget of $1 million and about one million visitors a year, making it one of the most popular attractions in the National Capital Parks division.
Interior spokesman Harmon Kallman said that allegations against Conway had been made last fall and that in October Conway was detailed to a Washington office though still retaining his title as park superintendent, Kallman said.
After an investigation, Larry Meierotto, acting assistant Interior secretary for administration, suspended Conway. Conway appealed and Under-secretary James A. Joseph last week asked that an examiner from outside the department be appointed to hear the appeal, Kallman said. Following the appeal, Conway, who has retained a lawyer, could pursue the issue in court.
Kallman said the allegations concerned Conway's conduct on the job but that any release of details "would be an invasion of personal privacy at this point." Kallman said the matter involved "internal disciplinary proceedings" and that "we are in the very delicate position of protecting Mr. Conway's rights" while taking administrative action against him.
Kallman said a decision on Conway's next job would not be made until final resolution of the current case. Other officials said it was unlikely that Conway would return to the Harpers Ferry Park, site of abolitionist John Brown's pre-Civil War raid on a U.S. armory there.