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UPDATE: New Sheriff Appointed in Clay County

By: Jeremy Edwards Email
By: Jeremy Edwards Email
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UPDATE 9/25/13 @ 10:30 a.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va (WSAZ) -- A new sheriff has been appointed in Clay County.

Clay County Commission selected Garrett Samples to fill the remainder of Miles Slack's term.

Samples is currently the county's home confinement officer.

Slack resigned last week after he pleaded guilty to a federal wiretapping charge.

Slack faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 19.



UPDATE 9/17/13 @ 11:05 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A former Clay County Sheriff has pleaded guilty to criminal charges and now faces prison time.

Mike "Miles" Slack appeared in federal court Tuesday in Charleston. He pleaded guilty to illegal wiretapping.

Federal Prosecutors say Slack secretly installed a keystroke logger on a computer in the Clay County Magistrate Court office in April, when he and his wife were still married. Prosecutors haven't commented on the motive, but the couple has since divorced.

Just hours after Slack admitted to the crime, his ex-wife issued a statement.

"I am relieved that Miles has taken responsibility for his actions today," L.S. stated. "I am saddened that Miles' wrong doing has cost him the job as Sheriff that he has wanted for years."

Slack faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced on December 19.

Slack resigned from his sheriff's position on Monday. County Commissioners appointed Reva Schoonover as the temporary sheriff. Schoonover is currently the Chief Tax Deputy.

Schoonover will serve up to 30 days until a permanent sheriff is named.

"While I realize that he [Slack] may go to jail over this, I hope that he doesn't, L.S. writes in the statement. "Having to resign as Sherriff, the shame and embarrassment of having a federal felony on his record, and the loss of respect of the people of Clay County is a terrible price to pay."

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/16/13 @ 10:55 a.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An interim sheriff has been named in Clay County after the current sheriff resigned from his post amid a federal investigation.

County Commissioners appointed Reva Schoonover as the temporary sheriff during a meeting Monday. Schoonover is currently the Chief Tax Deputy.

"I'll rely on my officers and our chief deputy to take care of law enforcement as usual," Schoonover said. "I'll be busy, doing the settlement, closing things out, so things should just go as normal."

Sheriff Mike Slack resigned from his position last week. He is facing a wiretapping charge after federal investigators say he installed a keystroke logger on a computer in the Clay County Magistrate Office.

A county commissioner read Slack's resignation letter during Monday's meeting.

I feel it is important for me [Slack] to resign from this office at this time so the sheriff's office in Clay County may move forward to a positive future," Slack stated in the letter.

Slack is expected to plead guilty on Tuesday, according to court records. The plea hearing is set for Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the federal courthouse in Charleston.

Schoonover will serve up to 30 days until a permanent sheriff is named.

Right now, commissioners say they have 16 candidates for sheriff. Commissioners say they hope to narrow the list down and begin interviews by the middle of this week.

A new sheriff is expected to be named at the next commission's meeting on September 25.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/13/13 @ 2:30 p.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Clay County Sheriff, Miles Slack has submitted his resignation.

County Commissioners tell WSAZ.com, it is effective on Monday.

Prosecutors have charged him with wiretapping.

The county commission will hold an emergency meeting at 10 a.m. Monday.

Commissioners say they plan to appoint Chief Tax Deputy, Reva Schoonover as the temporary replacement.

Then they will have 30 days to find a permanent sheriff.

Slack is expected to plead guilty in the case next week.



UPDATE 8/31/13 @ 8:30 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say a West Virginia sheriff charged with hacking his former wife's work computer has agreed to plead guilty.

Prosecutors this month filed a motion in federal court in Charleston requesting a plea hearing for Clay County Sheriff Miles Slack.

U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver has scheduled the hearing for Sept. 17.

A federal information charged Slack with illegal wiretapping.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin has said Slack secretly installed a keystroke logger on a computer in the Clay County Magistrate Court office in April, when he and his wife were still married.

Prosecutors haven't commented on the motive, but the couple has since divorced.

Goodwin said the spying device remained in place for two weeks and Slack successfully intercepted emails, messages and other data from the computer.



UPDATE 8/14/13 @ 10:20 a.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- He hasn't resigned yet, but Clay County is already making plans to replace current Sheriff Miles "Mike" Slack after he was indicted by a federal grand jury.

Last week Slack was charged with illegal wiretapping. According to court documents, Slack is accused of installing a hidden device called a keystroke logger on his ex-wife's computer. She works in the Clay County Magistrate's Office, and investigators believe the device was installed in late April.

A keystroke logging device can intercept everything typed on the keyboard, according to a news release. The computer in question was owned by the state Supreme Court.

During a regularly scheduled County Commission meeting Wednedat , Commission President Mike Pierson says the county expects Sheriff Slack to resign from his post, but they don't know when it will happen.

When the commission receives Slack's resignation, the county will follow state code and appoint a permanent sheriff from Slack's current political party. Slack is a Democrat.

However, commissioners say they may appoint the county's Chief Tax Deputy as a temporary sheriff for no more than 30 days to make sure checks can be signed and other matters are taken care of during the transition.

Once a permanent sheriff is named, that person will serve until next year when the next election is scheduled. At that point, the person appointed could run for the unexpired term.

Commissioner Pierson says so far the county has 13 candidates who have expressed interest in the position. He also says the democrat party has put its backing behind three candidates who they believe are best qualified for the position and have recommended them to the commission.

Once Sheriff Slack resigns the commission will call an emergency meeting to appoint a new sheriff.

Slack was charged through an information last week, which ordinarily indicates that a person is cooperating with prosecutors, according to a release.

As of Wednesday morning, a hearing date has still not been set in the case.

Slack was elected Sheriff in November 2012. Before that he served 16 years as a Clay County Deputy. During his campaign for Sheriff, Slack resigned from the sheriff's department and became Chief of Police for Clay.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 8/5/13 @ 11:30 p.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Clay County community is left in disbelief after learning their law enforcement leader is charged with a federal crime.

Sheriff Miles "Mike" Slack is accused of illegal wire tapping. Officials say he installed a spying device on a computer belonging to the Supreme Court of Appeals.

That computer was used by his now ex-wife, Lisa Slack, who works in the Clay County Magistrate's Office.

Officials say the device was used to record keystrokes on her computer.

"You can draw conclusions from the circumstances that that was the object of the crime," U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said. "But at this time, we're not going to get into any speculations as to why exactly he did it."

Neighbors say they're left shocked and saddened by the accusations.

"You would think someone who gets to be the sheriff wouldn't do their wife that way," Myrna Sizemore said. "He's supposed to be the leader and direct us in the right way, in a truthful way."

Others like Llyn Drake say they're rallying to the sheriff's defense despite the charges.

"At some point in everybody's life, they do something stupid and use poor judgment," she said. "Especially where matters of the heart are concerned. It would be devastating to start over again with a new sheriff."

Officials wouldn't comment on whether any sensitive information may have been leaked during the wiretapping. But they say the device was still attached to the computer and was not removed.

WSAZ.com reached out to county commissioners and the sheriff's department. There's no word from them at this time.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Clay County Sheriff is facing prison time after being charged with secretly monitoring his ex-wife's work computer.

Federal prosecutors are charging Clay County Sheriff Miles "Mike" J. Slack with illegal wiretapping.

According to court documents, Slack is accused of installing a hidden device called a keystroke logger on his ex-wife's computer. She works in the Clay County Magistrate's Office, and investigators believe the device was installed in late April.

A keystroke logging device can intercept everything typed on the keyboard, according to a news release.

Investigators say the hidden object was on the computer for more than two weeks -- intercepting everything typed on the keyboard, including email and information transmitted to Internet sites.

The computer was owned and maintained by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and is connected to a central Supreme Court network, according to a news release.

The woman's name is not being released. At the time of the alleged incident, investigators say she was married to Slack.

Slack was charged through an information on Monday, which ordinarily indicates that a person is cooperating with prosecutors, according to a release.

No hearing date has been set.

Slack was elected Sheriff in November 2012. Before that he served 16 years as a Clay County Deputy. During his campaign for Sheriff, Slack resigned from the sheriff's department and became Chief of Police for Clay.

"If he is ultimately convicted of a federal crime, it's difficult for him to remain sheriff in that context but there are procedures in place," U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said in an interview Monday, " I'm sure a long standing institution like a county sheriff's department will move on."

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the West Virginia State Police, with assistance from the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. The prosecution is being handled by Steven Ruby and Haley Bunn, prosecutors in U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's office.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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