Wrongdoing allegations raised against West Virginia State Police

Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 8:45 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - WSAZ has obtained an anonymous letter claiming serious allegations of wrongdoing against members of the West Virginia State Police.

The letter was sent to numerous delegates, senators, and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. It states the information was also mailed several months ago to the Governor’s Office and the West Virginia Office of Special Investigations.

The five-page letter details accusations including a hidden camera system that was placed in the women’s locker room at the West Virginia State Police training academy, a “ghost account” used for purchases, falsified overtime and a trooper not reporting three crashes in a department-issued vehicle.

Some of the accusations date back to 2018.

The letter states the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security has conducted an investigation into the allegations. The Governor’s Office confirms that investigation and says it is expected to wrap up in two to three months.

During a news briefing Thursday, Gov. Jim Justice addressed the investigation, saying, “But absolutely when I was informed of this, I immediately called for an administrative investigation. We have been doing that. There has been many people involved. Really and truly, there is concern, no question, there’s concern, but it’s no reflection on the State Police in general. If there is a problem, I surely can’t comment any more on the investigation and that stuff at this time. If there is a problem, it will be a very, very small number. With any organization anywhere, State Police has 600-plus in the field in uniform and 400 in support roles. With a thousand people, there’s a good chance you can end up with a few bad eggs. If that be the case, they’ll be addressed and they’ll be addressed very quickly and they’ll be addressed in a way that is adequate to what they’ve done that’s improper. Right now, we don’t need to get into all that. We need to let the investigation conclude, and hopefully, the investigation concludes and there aren’t any problems. Wherever the investigation takes us is where we’ll conclude.”

The governor also said, “I am completely confident with the West Virginia State Police. They do an amazing job, an amazing, amazing job. Every single day, they put their lives on the line.”

West Virginia Department of Homeland Security Jeff Sandy released a statement that reads, “Several months ago, the Governor’s Office received an anonymous letter which contained serious allegations made against members of the West Virginia State Police. At that time, the Governor requested that a full administrative investigation be immediately initiated to look into the allegations. Over the past few months, extensive work has been done by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General and other retired law enforcement officers employed by the Dept. of Homeland Security. The investigation remains active and ongoing.”

Secretary Sandy went on to say in the statement, “I join the Governor in expressing continued confidence in the men and women of the West Virginia State Police. The actions of a few should not tarnish the reputation of the organization. I look forward to the investigation’s conclusion in the coming months.”

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