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UPDATE: Former Sheriff Sentenced to 18 Months in Jail

By: WSAZ News Staff, Randy Yohe, Carrie Cline Email
By: WSAZ News Staff, Randy Yohe, Carrie Cline Email

UPDATE 5/21/12 @ 6 p.m.
PT. PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It's case closed for a former sheriff who will spend at least the next year behind bars.

While still in office, Mason County Sheriff David Anthony was arrested last November after a gun incident at his home. In January, he was indicted for that incident along with nearly four dozen other charges for using the county credit card for personal use.

Anthony resigned in March and took himself off the ballot for re-election. That's when he also made a plea deal reducing his charges from dozens of felonies down to just four misdemeanors.

Anthony was supposed to be sentenced last month, but that was held up after he didn't write an apology -- which was part of his plea deal.
With the apology complete, the former sheriff now knows his fate.

Eighteen months in prison -- but, it may all boil down to an apology that was too little too late.

“For people that supported me, I ask they forgive me for failing them,” Anthony said.

It was an apology long overdue. Anthony not only apologized to the citizens of Mason County, he also issued a written apology to county officeholders.

“I apologize to other officeholders for implying they did the same thing I did,” Anthony wrote.

As a condition of his plea deal, Anthony was supposed to have written this letter weeks earlier. Some county officeholders still didn't get the apology.

“I didn't get that letter and I talked to other officeholders, and they hadn't seen the letter either,” Mason County Commissioner Rick Handley said.

“If I were to make an apology, I'd make it to that person directly or address the letter to them,” Mason County Circuit Judge David Nibert said.

With that, the judge sentenced Anthony to 18 months in jail and a $500 fine.

“We asked for probation, but the judge decided not to do that. I think he was trying to make a statement,” said David Moye, Anthony’s attorney.

“It's not completely fair; it's not just. As a citizen of Mason County, I don’t agree, even though he is my nephew,” said Joyce Wray, Anthony’s aunt.

Anthony's mother, Rosanna Anthony, says everyone deserves a second chance and not to lose sight of the innocent victim in the situation -- Anthony's 13-year-old son.

With good behavior, Anthony could serve as little as one year in jail.

Here's a breakdown of the sentence:

  • 6 months in jail for brandishing/$500 fine
  • 100 days in jail for shooting near dwelling
  • These sentences will run together.

Then,

  • 1 year in jail for fraudulent schemes
  • 1 year in jail for embezzlement
  • These sentences will run together after the first set of punishments.



UPDATE 5/21/12 @ 10:40 a.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A former West Virginia sheriff will spend the next year and a half in jail.

Former Sheriff David Anthony was sentenced Monday in a Mason County courtroom.

He will spend a total of 18 months behind bars.

He was sentenced to six months for a brandishing charge, along with a $500 fine. That will run concurrently with a 100 day sentenced for shooting near a dwelling.

When he is done serving that sentence, he won't be out of jail just yet.

He will still have another year to serve.

Anthony was sentenced to one year for fraudulent schemes. That sentence will run concurrently with a one year sentence for embezzlement.

Former Mason County Sheriff David Anthony was arrested last November after a gun incident at his home. In January, he was indicted for that incident -- along with nearly four dozen other charges for using the county commission's credit card for personal use.

Anthony resigned in March and took himself off the ballot for re-election. That's when he also made a plea deal reducing his charges from dozens of felonies down to four misdemeanors.



UPDATE 4/30/12 @ 8:05 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It'll be a little longer before a former sheriff, who went from enforcing the law to breaking the law, learns his fate.

Former Mason County Sheriff David Anthony was arrested last November after a gun incident at his home. In January, he was indicted for that incident -- along with nearly four dozen other charges for using the county commission's credit card for personal use.

Anthony resigned in March and took himself off the ballot for re-election. That's when he also made a plea deal reducing his charges from dozens of felonies down to four misdemeanors.

Anthony was supposed to be sentenced Monday, but that hit a snag.
The details of the plea deal were simple: resign from office, agree to never run for office again and write an apology to fellow office holders of Mason County -- something he somehow forgot to do, creating big problems.

“He didn't write his letter and I assumed that he understood that was the thing he was to do per the plea agreement,” said Judge David Nibert.

It was a pretty big sticking point with Judge Nibert and Mason County Prosecutor Damon Morgan.

“I just asked the judge to take that into consideration with his attitude and all,” Morgan said.

Several months ago, Anthony and his attorney made statements accusing other county office holders of also misusing their government-issued credit cards. It became a point of contention, and that's why Anthony was asked to write that letter of apology.

“I don’t know what happened. It was probably just overlooked,” said David Moye, Anthony’s attorney.

“With one thing to do, I would have thought that would have been done and over with and Judge Nibert could hand out his sentence ,and this would all be over,” Mason County Commissioner Rick Handley said.

In a desperate attempt to prevent a harsh sentence from the judge, Moye scrambled to find some solutions including taking a recess to let him write the letter today.

“Mr. Anthony is prepared to stand up here today and make that apology on open record here in court,” Moye said.

“We don't want a hastily written letter. I want his true feelings to come out and tell the people he's sorry,” Handley said.

Ultimately, Nibert continued the case to give Anthony time to write the letter. We'll be back in court May 21 for Anthony's sentencing.

Anthony's sentencing may include up to three years in jail and/or several thousand dollars in fines.



UPDATE 4/30/12 @ 12:20 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The sentencing of a former Mason County Sheriff who got in trouble with the law has been continued.

David Anthony, of Mason County, W.Va., was supposed to be sentenced Monday, but during the hearing his sentencing was continued.

Anthony was charged with nearly four dozen counts of embezzlement and misuse of public funds, along with a shooting incident at his home. He made a plea deal in the case, reducing the felony charges to four misdemeanors.

As part of the plea deal, Anthony was supposed to issue a written apology to county office holders for accusing them of also misusing county credit cards.

During the hearing, the prosecutor asked the judge to take that into consideration when sentencing.

The defense attorney quickly asked for a continuance so Anthony could issue the apology.

The judge granted the continuance to May 21.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/9/12 @ 5:35 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- In West Virginia, the sheriff is supposed to enforce criminal law and collect the county taxes -- not face criminal charges and tax the public's trust.

In Mason County, months of turmoil ended this week with embattled Sheriff David Anthony’s resignation and a new appointment. WSAZ.com joined the new sheriff on his first day in office.

New Sheriff Mike Roach had questions for his staff.

“I gotta find out where you get uniforms," Roach said. "It will be 150 times. I’ve signed my name this morning, and I’m not done yet.”

But Roach says he's got a bigger task that also begins on day one. That job, he says, is to use his 20-plus years experience as a state trooper and his compassion as a Mason County native son -- to restore respectability to the department. He says that begins and ends with professionalism.

“I want them to act professional, look professional, do a professional job, and that will restore the public confidence," Roach said.

Capt. Charlie Stearns, a 31-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, says Roach can restore the respect.

“He's got years of experience in law enforcement," Stearns said. "I think he will do the job.”

Long before Anthony's many troubles went public, many say he was an absentee sheriff who was seldom at the office. Roach says he'll be present and accounted for -- to restore order and a chain of command.

Commissioner Rick Handley says hiring the hometown proud, 64-year-old former State Police commander is the best thing that could happen to Mason County.

“He brings in knowledge of the criminal system -- something we greatly needed today," Handley said. "It was not something we could send through the interview process and wait a few weeks. We needed someone now.”

Roach says his long-range goal is to do the best nine-month job he can -- before a newly elected sheriff takes over.

"When he steps in, it's a smoother running department that at this very minute,” Roach said.

Roach will stay on the job in Mason County through the November elections until Dec. 31.



UPDATE 3/8/12 @ 4:35 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Mason County Commission has appointed a new sheriff.

Commissioners voted unanimously to appoint Mike Roach as the new Mason County Sheriff.

A 20-year veteran of the West Virginia State Police, Roach recently served as a detachment commander.

Roach will serve as sheriff for the next 299 days.

As of right now -- he will not be on the ballot for the next election.



UPDATE 3/6/12 @ 7:50 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A long battle for former Mason County Sheriff David Anthony is coming to an end.

Anthony was arrested in November -- accused of firing a gun over his son's head. But, that was just the beginning.

In January, Anthony was indicted on more than three dozen charges for misuse of public funds. As the County Commission worked to remove Anthony from office, he refused to back down and even planned to run for another term.

But that all changed Monday night when he stepped down. On Tuesday, Anthony faced a judge.

We’ve been following this story since it started nearly five months ago and was in Point Pleasant where the former sheriff accepted a plea deal on Tuesday.

This case came to a quick and unexpected end with what many consider an incredible deal with drastically reduced charges. Anthony originally faced a 42-count indictment full of felonies. Now, it's just four misdemeanors.

Anthony pleaded guilty to brandishing and shooting near a dwelling in relation to the gun firing incident near his son last November just outside their home.

In exchange for the bulk of the charges related to the improper use of his county credit card, he pleaded no contest to embezzlement and fraudulent schemes.

“Anytime you can go from 42-count felony indictment, which was extensive and get four misdemeanors, under my advice, he took the deal,” said David Moye, Anthony’s attorney.

In return for the reduced charges, Anthony has resigned as sheriff, withdrawn his bid for re-election and surrendered his law enforcement certification and will issue a written apology.

“He just has misdemeanors now and has his life with his son and a chance to get things back in order,” Moye said.

County Commissioner Rick Handley said, “Knowing we can start right now with a new sheriff, that's a big relief off the county commission's back and will help with our image.”

But, public perception on this deal is split.

“I don’t think it’s fair. If it was someone else, they would have gotten more,” a Mason County resident said.

“I wish him and the county well and hope everyone can move on,” said Carolyne Harris, another Mason County resident.

One final condition of the agreement is a written apology.

“He's sorry and had a drinking problem, and that was the root of most of his problems while in office,” Moye said.

Anthony also had to apologize to fellow officeholders for a comment his attorney made to NewsChannel 3 in a story that aired in January. Then, he implied that other county offices had also misused the government-issued credit card. The judge said that’s not true.

However, Moye still argues a lack of policies and procedures regarding the cards allows for mistakes to happen.

The reduced charges are now punishable by up to a little more than three years in the county jail and/or $6,300 in fines.

Sentencing will take place April 30. The County Commission will appoint a new sheriff Thursday night.



UPDATE 3/6/12 @ 1:25 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Mason County Sheriff has made a plea deal to drastically reduced charges.

Former Sheriff David Anthony was indicted in January on 42 charges including felony and misdemeanor embezzlement, along with wanton endangerment and child neglect.

In court on Tuesday, a day after resigning from office, Anthony pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of brandishing and shooting near a dwelling. Those charges stem back to a November arrest when Anthony was accused of shooting a gun over his son's head.

On those charges, he faces up to a year and 100 days in jail and/or fines of up to $1,300.

Anthony also pleaded no contest to fraudulent schemes and embezzlement. On those charges, he faces up to a total of two years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

As part of the plea agreement, Anthony has withdrew his name from the candidate list for the sheriff's seat.

He also agreed to never run for political office in the future, surrendered his certification as law enforcement in West Virginia, and must write an apology to the public and fellow Mason County office holders for alleging they committed the same fraudulent scheme of which he was accused.

Anthony will be sentenced on April 30.

WSAZ's Carrie Cline was at Tuesday's court hearing and will have the latest coming up tonight on NewsChannel3 Six O' Clock.



UPDATE 3/5/12 @ 7:15 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Mason County Sheriff is stepping down and will not seek re-election.

Mason County Commissioner Rick Handley tells WSAZ.com Sheriff David Anthony’s resignation Monday is effective immediately.

Since Chief Deputy Rob Wilson resigned a couple of weeks ago, Handley says the highest-ranking deputy, Charlie Stearns, is now in charge of the department.

Stearns is not acting as sheriff and will only be in charge until the commission appoints a replacement for Anthony.

Handley says a meeting to work on that process is set at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Anthony’s resignation is expected to be formally addressed in court at 1 p.m. Tuesday.



UPDATE 2/17/12 @ 6 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- There are more unexpected twists in the already bizarre drama of the Mason County Sheriff's Department.

The newly appointed chief deputy has resigned two weeks into the job.
He was filling in for Sheriff David Anthony, who has pulled back pending the 43-count indictment against him -- mostly for allegedly misusing his government credit card.

WSAZ.com's Carrie Cline sat down with the resigning chief who started out determined to restore credibility to the department.

“What in the world happened?” Cline asked.

“There were some things I was asked to do within the scope of my duties that I really was not comfortable doing, and I've always tried to be a man of good principles and things like that,” Chief Deputy Rob Wilson said.

And that's about all Wilson would say on that topic. But, he had plenty to say on a number of other subjects that he says helped lead to his resignation -- starting with what some are calling a blue flu.

“The first day I took office, I received three doctor's excuses on my desk, which creates a problem when you're already short-staffed,” Wilson said.

He said two of the deputies took an indefinite sick leave -- meaning instead of the three to four deputies on the road on any given day, they're down to one -- maybe two to cover the roughly 400 square miles of the county.

“Regardless of the situation going on with the sheriff, which is unfortunate, we all have a duty as police officers to take care of our responsibilities in the community,” Wilson said.

They're responsibilities Wilson recently outlined in a detailed two-page mission statement he developed to restore the credibility of the department.

“I think in order to make a better place, you have to have a vision of where you want to go,” Wilson said.

Mason County Commissioner Rick Handley said, “It was a total surprise that he quit when he did.”

Handley says Wilson had just come to a commission meeting the day before -- very enthusiastic about the job.

As far as the talk that deputies are intentionally calling off sick, Wilson said, "We have fine deputies in Mason County, and I would hope that's not the case."

Cline asked, "Two weeks later, how do you feel about the credibility of the department?”

“I don't feel the best about it right now,” Wilson said. “Maybe this will mend some of the division within the department and the guys can get back to work and feel good about what they're doing."

Wilson gives a lot of credit to West Virginia State Police, the Point Pleasant Police Department and the sheriff’s deputies who are working hard to assist during the time of short-staffing.

His resignation is effective March 1.



UPDATE 2/17/12 @ 9:30 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – The Chief Deputy in the Mason County Sheriff’s Office has now gone on record why he is quitting the department.

Thursday, Rob Wilson submitted his two weeks notice to the Mason County Commission on Thursday. His last day is March 1.

Sheriff David Anthony just appointed Wilson to the post at the beginning of the month.

Thursday night, Wilson sent the following letter to WSAZ.com to explain the resignation.

To The Citizens of Mason County,
I would like to clarify the reason for my resignation from the Mason County Sheriff’s Department. I have been asked to do things while serving at the Sheriff’s Department that are against my principles and beliefs.

I made every attempt to improve the Sheriff’s Department when I was named Chief Deputy, but any attempt to resolve the current issues were met with insurmountable resistance, without the authority or backing to enforce the needed changes .

I have always strived to serve my community and country honorably, both in the US Armed Forces and as a Police Officer, and I feel that at this time I must stand up for what I believe and know to be right. I am a Police Officer, not a politician.

I would particularly like to say thank you to those officers at the Mason County Sheriff’s Department that recently have been working hard around the clock to insure that there is a law enforcement presence in our county. I would also like to say thank you to the Mason County Detachment of the WV State Police, both for their support in providing additional resources during this difficult time, and also working with the Point Pleasant Police Department and Mason County Magistrate Court for their help in organizing the upcoming worthless check round up on March 6th. I hope this project can still move forward and have tremendous success, and a spirit of unity may arise from all of this turmoil.

And lastly, I would like to thank the citizens of Mason County for allowing me to serve them as a Deputy Sheriff. This county is where I was born and raised, and I hope one day that it can return to that great place I remember as a child. Best wishes to everyone and God bless.

Respectfully,
Chief Deputy Rob Wilson

Just last week Wilson issued a mission statement for the office.

The statement comes at a time when a black cloud is over the department after Sheriff Anthony was arrested and indicted on a gun charge and several charges of improper use of funds. Another deputy was also indicted after the recent meeting of the Mason County Grand Jury.

Meanwhile, a three- judge panel will hear the Mason County Commission's petition to remove Sheriff Anthony from office.

The hearing is set for April 18 and April 19 in Mason County.

John Lewis Marks, Jr., Chief Judge of the 15th Judicial Circuit, Christopher C. Wilkes, Judge of the 23rd Judicial Circuit and David R. Janes, Judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit comprise the panel.

The petition filed Monday cites Sheriff Anthony's recent indictment on 42 counts, including wanton endangerment and embezzlement.

Anthony denies the charges.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 2/16/12 @ 3 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Just two weeks after being promoted to Chief Deputy of the Mason County Sheriff's Department, Rob Wilson has decided to resign from the department.

Wilson submitted his two weeks notice to the Mason County Commission on Thursday. His last day is March 1.

Sheriff David Anthony appointed him to the post at the beginning of the month.

Wilson told WSAZ.com it was in the “best interest of the department to resign.” He didn't offer any more information.

In his resignation letter Wilson said, “I deeply appreciate the opportunity to have served the citizens of Mason County and wish the Mason County Sheriff’s Department and its members the best regards in the future.”

Just last week Wilson issued a mission statement for the office.

The statement comes at a time when a black cloud is over the department after Sheriff Anthony was arrested and indicted on a gun charge and several charges of improper use of funds. Another deputy was also indicted after the recent meeting of the Mason County Grand Jury.

The statement highlights the department values, professional responsibility, community responsiveness, integrity, dedication, cooperation, innovation, sound fiscal management and the goals of the department.

Those goals include providing "the best quality service to earn the highest respect and confidence from the citizens of Mason County," along with being "leaders in the area of responsibility and accountability by exercising the maximum effort toward reaching the department's mission."

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 2/13/12
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Mason County Commissioners plan to file paperwork Monday afternoon to begin proceedings to have Sheriff David Anthony removed from office.

Commissioner Rick Handley told WSAZ.com Monday morning that he expects the paperwork to be filed by 3 p.m.

The next step would be for the West Virginia's Supreme Court to appoint a three-judge panel to hear the case.

If they determine any type of misconduct, malfeasance or gross immorality occurred; they can order Anthony removed from office.

Earlier this year, Anthony was indicted by a Mason County Grand Jury on 21 felony and 21 misdemeanor counts. The bulk of the charges are accusations he used his state-issued credit card for personal expenses on nearly 20 occasions over a two-week period last year. A routine state audit revealed the $2,600 discrepancy.

The Sheriff has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. His trial is set for April.

Anthony recently filed paperwork to run for a second term as Sheriff. He also recently returned to work after a stint in court ordered rehab for alcohol addiction.



UPDATE 2/8/12 @ 12:40 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The new Chief Deputy of the Mason County Sheriff's Department has issued a mission statement for the office.

Rob Wilson was promoted to Chief Deputy last week by Mason County Sheriff David Anthony.

This statement comes at a time when a black cloud is over the department after Anthony was arrested and indicted on a gun charge and several charges of improper use of funds. Another deputy was also indicted after the recent meeting of the Mason County Grand Jury.

The statement highlights the department values, professional responsibility, community responsiveness, integrity, dedication, cooperation, innovation, sound fiscal management and the goals of the department.

Those goals include providing "the best quality service to earn the highest respect and confidence from the citizens of Mason County," along with being "leaders in the area of responsibility and accountability by exercising the maximum effort toward reaching the department's mission."

You can read the entire mission statement by clicking on the link above.



UPDATE 1/31/12 @ 8:40 p.m.
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- While Mason County Sheriff David Anthony has been under fire, he's back to work.

He's even making personnel changes. WSAZ.com's Carrie Cline caught up with Anthony Tuesday morning at work, and he chatted with her exclusively about his plans.

A look into Mason County's tax office revealed an unexpected sight -- Anthony was back on the job taking care of some paperwork.

Despite the lengthy indictment against him, which includes more than 40 charges -- most for the improper use of taxpayer funds -- Anthony maintains his job and his paycheck.

“You really want to get back to work?” Cline asked.

“Yes,” Anthony replied.

He sat down and chatted with WSAZ.com briefly, not wanting to say too much and jeopardize his case.

“Will the deputies see more of you at the office?" Cline asked. "Yes, lawyer allowing. I'm working hard to stay within my limits."

But, then there's still that pending legal matter by the County Commission and their attempt to have the sheriff removed from office. Because of that, they are hesitant to talk on camera. Off camera, though, they told Cline while technically the sheriff is still the sheriff and they can't do anything about that right now, they're still troubled by his attempts to get back to work.

Here is why -- even though no one had seen or heard from the sheriff in any official capacity for awhile before this week, he's making staff changes.

We obtained a memo written and signed by Anthony on Monday, Jan. 30, demoting the current chief deputy, who's also the acting sheriff and promoting someone else to the position. Anthony didn't want to comment on the reason for the change or much else about his current plans. So, we asked about the future.

“Are you excited about a campaign for re-election?" Cline asked.

“There's a lot going on,” he said.

“How do you fight the court of public opinion?” Cline asked.

“I don't know," Anthony said. "It hasn’t been easy.”

We checked in with the Mason County Prosecutor. He said Anthony is still the elected sheriff and is free to resume all duties. Even though he faces a few charges related to a gun incident, he's also still permitted to carry a weapon.

Prosecutor Damon Morgan said Anthony is only charged with crimes and not actually convicted of anything.



UPDATE 1/27/12 @ 6:25 p.m.
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Mason County Sheriff David Anthony, who has been indicted on more than 40 charges, made a surprising move.

As the county commission takes steps to remove him from office, he filed for re-election.

Despite the charges against him, including misuse of government funds, he wants everyone to remember he's still innocent until proven otherwise.

“I think they should throw him out,” a Mason County resident said.

That's the uphill battle Anthony may be working against in his re-election bid for sheriff of Mason County.

“He asked me if he could, and I said absolutely, there was nothing that prohibits him from it,” David Moye said.

Moye is Anthony's attorney. While he didn't want his client talking, Moye had plenty to say -- starting with a strong disagreement with the evidence in the case.

“There was no police investigation.There was an audit from the state. That's what they relied upon,” Moye said.

Anthony was indicted earlier this month on 40 charges -- most of them related to the misuse of his government-issued credit card. But, Moye says it was all more of a misunderstanding related to one business trip to Florida.

“For a communications expo and because they couldn't get a confirmation from the hotel that the expo was there, they charged him on each of the transactions made, which adds up to quite a few felonies and some of them were only for $6,” Moye.

Moye says the expo was taking place at a nearby hotel and not the one Anthony was staying at.

“But, when he was confronted, he said if you don't believe this is legitimate and you don't believe it was a valid department expense, then dock my check and they did that a long time ago,” Moye said.

In addition, Moye says other county departments were listed in that state audit as misusing government funds including the circuit clerk, prosecutor and county commission.

“I'm not saying the others did anything criminal," Moye said. "I'm not accusing them. I'm just saying if the other departments are also listed and there's no policy or procedure introduced by the county commission for how to comply with these P cards, then why indict the sheriff."

But, while Sheriff Anthony is certainly innocent until proven guilty, convincing the court of public opinion may be a different story.

“I guess it's his right to run, but I wouldn’t vote for him,” another Mason County resident said.

The county commission actually is taking steps to have Anthony removed from office. We called them for comment, but they said their attorney advised them not to discuss the case.

We were interested in finding out if Anthony is removed from office, can he run for re-election. The Secretary of State's office said someone could challenge his eligibility and it would be up to a court to decide.

Anthony would face four other Democratic candidates in the upcoming May primary.



UPDATE 1/27/12 @ 11:50 a.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- He's been indicted on more than 30 charges related to misusing taxpayer money, but that's not stopping Mason County's Sheriff from filing for re-election.

Sheriff David Anthony was in court earlier this month to face the charges against him.

Thursday he filed to run for a second term as sheriff.

While Anthony is planning his new campaign to keep his post, the Mason County Commission is busily working to remove him.

The commission plans to file paperwork in the coming days to petition for Anthony's removal from office.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 1/11/12 @ 1:30 p.m.
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Mason County Sheriff David Anthony pleaded not guilty to 21 felony and 21 misdemeanor counts during his arraignment Wednesday Morning.

A Mason County Grand Jury indicted Anthony on the counts last week.

During the hearing, his attorney David Moye said he plans to file a motion to have Mr. Anthony's case moved from Mason County due to Anthony's position as Sheriff.

Anthony is set to return to court on March 19. His trial is set for April 10.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 1/6/12 @ 6 p.m.
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- We continue to follow a developing story out of Mason County.

It's been a wild two months for the sheriff there after charges of child neglect and wanton endangerment for firing a gun near his son. Now, he's charged with embezzlement.

Sheriff David Anthony has been out of sight since his arrest on the gun incident in early November, fulfilling court-ordered rehab for alcohol addiction. But, on Friday he was in court on the other side of the law.

Anthony talked exclusively with WSAZ.com's Carrie Cline after he left court. He was surprisingly pleasant and fairly easygoing. While he didn't have much to say, he did want to make one thing clear.

“What do you have to say to the people of Mason County who elected you into office?” Cline asked Anthony.

“The truth will come out,” he said.

That was Anthony's first public appearance since spending nearly two months in rehab for alcohol addiction.

“How are you doing?” Cline asked.

“I'm good,” Anthony responded.

Anthony looks markedly different now than he did on Nov. 11 during his video arraignment on child neglect and wanton endangerment charges.

Always polite, the sheriff is facing some serious charges -- more than 40 of them. In a major turn of the tables, instead of bringing accused criminals before a judge, he was standing in their shoes.

The bulk of the charges are accusations he used his state-issued credit card for personal expenses on nearly 20 occasions over a two-week period last year. A routine state audit revealed the $2,600 discrepancy. We confronted the sheriff about the charges against him.

“What do you have to say to the people who are disappointed in you?” Cline asked.

“No comment,” the sheriff responded.

“Anything you want to clarify about the incident with the gun and your son?” Cline asked.

“No comment,” the sheriff said.

Cline also asked the sheriff if he'd consider resigning from his position as sheriff. Again, he replied, "No comment."

The Mason County Commission has started the process of having him removed from office. Anthony's term ends this November.

Anthony will be back in court next week. Since he already posted a bond when he was arrested for that gun incident in November, no additional bond was set Friday on the new charges.



UPDATE 1/6/12 @ 12 p.m.
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- After an arrest, several weeks in rehab for alcohol addiction and now a 42-count indictment, Mason County's embattled sheriff made his first public appearance Friday morning.

Sheriff David Anthony was in Mason County Circuit Court to answer the charges against him.

Anthony faces a handful of charges for allegedly firing his gun near his son back in early November. But, the bulk of the charges stem from accusations of embezzlement and fraud.

According to the indictment, Anthony used his government-issued credit card for personal use on multiple occasions.

The Sheriff will be back in court next week for an arraignment. No further bond was set.

Following his arrest in November on the shooting charge, Anthony was ordered to check into an inpatient rehab facility for at least 90 days.

Earlier this week, the Mason County Commission began proceeding to have Anthony removed from office.



UPDATE 1/5/12 @ 6:20 p.m.
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- We continue to follow a developing story as the problems add up for a local sheriff.
Mason County West Virginia's Sheriff David Anthony was arrested back in November on a charge related to firing a gun over the head of his 13-year-old son.

Witnesses said he had been drinking at the time... So for now -- he's in court-mandated rehab. Earlier this week, the Mason County Commission announced it was seeking outside counsel to remove the sheriff from his job after commissioners said a routine state audit uncovered fraudulent schemes. And now - more trouble.

Sheriff Anthony has been indicted by a grand jury on more than three-dozen counts -- involving the gun charges and embezzling taxpayer money.

It's 42 counts and only four of those are related to that gun incident. The rest detail nearly 20 instances of the sheriff using his government credit card for personal use to the tune of more than $2500.

“It shocks me that we've elected officials that can do that kind of thing in the economic times we've got,” Rachel Proffitt said.

The rumors had been flying for weeks, but folks reserved judgment. Now that the 42-count indictment is out, local taxpayers are fired up and sounding off!

“I think they ought to go ahead and put him out of office. Any sheriff leading mason county to do something like that doesn't need to be in there,” Ray DeWitt said.

“That hurts us all anytime you make a bond of trust for the community,” Vickie Wedge said.

“It's a sad situation,” said Rick Handley, Mason County Commission President.

Rick Handley is the president of the Mason County Commission. He says Anthony's misconduct came to light during a routine state audit. It showed several unauthorized expenses from just over six dollars to almost six-hundred dollars-- more than $2500 dollars in all.

“Which is the same as $10,000. It’s an illegal use of card. When the card is issued, everyone is told it’s only for county business,” said Handley.

That's why the commission is moving to have Sheriff Anthony removed from office as soon as possible.

Sheriff Anthony is expected to appear in court tomorrow to answer the indictment and undergo official processing on these charges.

To read the full indictment on Sheriff Anthony – check out the Web Extra here on wsaz.com.



UPDATE 1/5/12 @ 8:30 a.m.
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A grand jury has indicted the Mason County Sheriff on numerous charges.

The indictments were handed down late Wednesday.

Sheriff David Anthony faces 19 misdemeanor counts of embezzlement, 18 felony counts of unauthorized use of a government purchasing card, along with one count of felony fraudulent scheme.

Anthony was also indicted for wanton endangerment, child neglect creating risk of injury, domestic assault and shooting near a dwelling. These charges are the result of an alleged incident at his house back in November.

The indictments come a day after the Mason County Commission unanimously voted to proceed to remove Sheriff Anthony from office.

The commission contacted a law firm out of Ripley for counsel on the matter.

Following the vote on Tuesday, Commissioner Rick Handley told WSAZ.com this has to with audit matters. According to the indictment, Anthony used $2435 worth of money belonging to the county for his own personal use.

Anthony is currently serving a court mandated 90-day rehab in connection with the wanton endangerment arrest.

You can read the full indictment by clicking on the "Mason County Sheriff Indictment" link at the top of the page.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 1/3/12 @ 6 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Mason County Commission has filed a motion to seek outside counsel in removing Sheriff David Anthony from office.

The unanimous decision was made Tuesday afternoon.

The commission has contacted a law firm out of Ripley for counsel.

Commissioner Rick Handley says this has to with audit matters that cannot be disclosed at this time/

Handley also says this is separate from state charges of wanton endangerment that Anthony was arrested on in November.

Anthony is currently serving a court mandated 90-day rehab he was given after the wanton endangerment arrest.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 11/15/11 @ 9:50 a.m.
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (AP) -- A Roane County magistrate will preside over a preliminary hearing for a Mason County sheriff accused of firing a weapon over a child's head during an argument.

Mason County Circuit Judge David Nibert appointed Roane County Magistrate Russell W. Goodwin after two Mason County magistrates asked to be recused from the case.

Sheriff David Anthony was charged last week with felony wanton endangerment. State Police say the charges stem from the firing of a small-caliber handgun Nov. 5.

Anthony's attorney has filed a petition asking for the preliminary hearing to be waived and the case be sent directly to the grand jury.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 11/14/11 @ 7:35 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Mason County Sheriff David Anthony has been ordered to rehab -- it's the latest step after he was charged with reckless use of a firearm.

Anthony was arrested last Thursday night along Route 35 in Putnam County, W.Va.

On Monday, we obtained a copy of Anthony's bond agreement. He posted the $20,000 bond and was released Friday afternoon from jail.

But, in addition to the money, Anthony has been ordered to check into an inpatient rehab facility for at least 90 days.

According to the criminal complaint, Anthony was under the influence of alcohol last week when he fired a handgun in the vicinity of his 13-year-old son at their home last week.

We spoke with several county officials Monday. No one we spoke with knows where Anthony is. The department is currently under the leadership of the chief deputy.

As far as the sheriff's future in the elected position, the county can either let it all play out in court or a petition can be filed for his removal.

That petition can be filed by the Mason County Commission or any other county elected official or a group of citizens.

It's filed through Circuit Court to West Virginia's Supreme Court, which appoints a three-judge panel to hear the case. If they determine any type of misconduct, malfeasance or gross immorality occurred, they can order a removal from office.

"I haven't talked to the commission other than one by email," Mason County Administrator John Gerlach said. "We're trying to evaluate where we're at and go from there. Sheriff Anthony is still the sheriff. We need to find out what we might do in the interim until his matters are resolved."

We talked with several folks around town who are divided on this issue. Some want to see the sheriff gone, while others just want to see him get help.

The County Commission meets later this week and will likely discuss their options then.

Anthony has one year left on his term.



UPDATE 11/11/11 @ 12:50 p.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ & AP) -- The Mason County Sheriff has made bond and has been released from jail after being arrested by West Virginia State Police late Thursday night.

Sheriff David Anthony II, 42, was picked up along Route 35 in Putnam County about 11:15 p.m. and charged with felony wanton endangerment. He was then taken to the Western Regional where he spent the night.

Anthony was video arraigned on the charge in Putnam County Magistrate Court Friday morning. His bond was set at $20,000. The Sheriff later posted bond and was released from jail.

Sgt. Michael Baylous tells WSAZ.com officers served a warrant concerning a previous incident where Anthony fired a weapon in a dangerous manner near a juvenile relative.

State Police Sgt. Edward Starcher says the charges stem from the firing of a small-caliber handgun Nov. 5.

Starcher says two sheriff deputies witnessed the incident and told investigators that Anthony had been drinking when he fired the gun over the head of a 13-year-old relative.

A domestic violence petition was also served Thursday, according to Baylous.



UPDATE @ 9:40 a.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ & AP) -- The Mason County Sheriff is in jail after West Virginia State Police arrested him late Thursday night.

Sheriff David Anthony II, 42, was picked up along Route 35 in Putnam County about 11:15 p.m. and charged with wanton endangerment. That is a felony charge.

Sergeant Michael Baylous tells WSAZ.com officers served a warrant concerning a previous incident where Anthony fired a weapon in a dangerous manner near a juvenile relative.

State Police Sgt. Edward Starcher says the charges stem from the firing of a small-caliber handgun Nov. 5.

Starcher says two deputy sheriffs witnessed the incident and told investigators that Anthony had been drinking when he fired the gun over the head of a 13-year-old relative.

A domestic violence petition was also served Thursday, according to Sgt. Baylous.

West Virginia State Police also issued a search warrant at Anthony's residence Thursday in Point Pleasant.

Sgt. Baylous says the Mason County Prosecutor asked the state police to look into several issues.

County Commissioner Rick Handley tells WSAZ.com that Commissioners received complaints and as protocol, they asked for the prosecutor and WVSP to get involved. Handley said he could not go into specifics about the complaints.

Handley says the case is now in the hands of the criminal justice system. When asked if Anthony would stay on the job, Handley said Anthony "is still the Sheriff" and that he has been in contact with the prosecutor to see what should happen next.

No other details are being released at this time.

County Commissioner Bob Baird says Anthony is in his third year as sheriff. He was a deputy sheriff before his election in 2008.

We have a crew in Putnam County where Anthony is expected to be arraigned on the charges Friday morning.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the very latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 11/11/11 @ 6:16 a.m.
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A local sheriff has been arrested overnight.

Mason County Sheriff David Anthony, 42, was booked in the Western Regional Jail at 1:30 Friday morning.

Point Pleasant Police tell WSAZ.com that West Virginia State Police in Putnam County arrested Anthony. He was charged with wanton endangerment, a felony.

No word at this time on the circumstances surrounding his arrest.

Anthony was elected Sheriff in 2008.

Keep checking back at WSAZ.com for the latest on the arrest of Sheriff David Anthony.


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