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Allegations Leveled at WVSP

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Charleston – Allegations of wrongdoing by members of the West Virginia State Police are under investigation, according to Governor Jim Justice.

In answer to a question about the situation by WCHS-TV reporter Kennie Bass, Justice acknowledged the inquiry. He said he had asked for the investigation immediately upon hearing the charges.

Bass said he received an anonymous three-page letter “months ago” outlining the allegations. Those same accusations surfaced this week when a slightly different version came anonymously to some members of the legislature.

The allegations, which have not been independently confirmed, charge abuse of overtime and expense accounts, including the use of a “ghost account” for unauthorized purchases and improper use of state “p” cards, and various episodes of improper and inappropriate personal behavior on State Police property. Other state property may have been used to carry on inappropriate personal relationships between some officers as well, the letters say.

Wvstatewide.com has been anonymously provided with both letters, which are very similar.

“When I was informed of this, I immediately called for an administrative investigation,” Justice told Bass and other reporters. “We have been doing that.”

The most recent letter says the investigation is complete with allegations confirmed.

Sources say the Department of Homeland Security oversaw the investigation. 

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The letters contain specific allegations of wrongdoing, particularly among upper-level State Police officers.

For example, a paragraph is devoted to the allegations that a senior officer constructed – at departmental expense – a video recording system in the women’s locker room. Videos were eventually created of nude females. 

None of the charges involve regular troopers or Superintendent Jan Cahill except that Cahill allegedly knew of some of the improprieties and did nothing to stop them.

Sources said Cahill was initially kept out of the loop and was not even aware of the investigation. That secrecy further strained relations between the State Police and the Department of Homeland Security. Cahill and Homeland Security head Jeff Sandy is said to have not had a good working relationship for some time.

Justice would not go into detail, but he did say, “With a thousand people (roughly 600 troopers and 400 more in administration), there is a good chance you could end up with a few bad eggs.”

Several of the are specific to the State Police Academy at Institute. Extramarital affairs are said to have resulted in confrontations by some officers.

Cahill is now aware of the allegations, and he promises transparency. He told MetroNews that he has established a record during his tenure of disciplining members of the force when they get out of line.

While some of the allegations largely revolve around moral issues, there are also purported instances of financial wrongdoing. Misuse of the state purchasing or “p card” is a legal violation for which there have been some prosecutions in the past.

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Each officer has a p card for legitimate gasoline and other purposes.

Another example includes an accusation that an officer charged overtime when a social media post shows her on a girl’s day out.

Most members of the legislature offered no comment when asked about the letters. Nearly all acknowledged receiving one or both.

“We will just have to let the investigation run its course and go from there,” said one delegate who asked not to be named.

Justice offered no estimate as to how long the investigation might last. However, the letters say the investigation is complete and has confirmed the various allegations.

The letters’ author(s) says he or she must remain anonymous for fear of reprisal by the State Police.

This is a developing story that will be updated as events warrant.

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  • Ron Gregory

    From Mayor of Glenville at age 26 to Assistant Mayor of Charleston, management of various public entities, and countless political races in West Virginia – Ron Gregory is the most noted political correspondent in the state.

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From Mayor of Glenville at age 26 to Assistant Mayor of Charleston, management of various public entities, and countless political races in West Virginia - Ron Gregory is the most noted political correspondent in the state.

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