UPDATE: Charge dismissed against arrested West Virginia journalist
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A prosecutor says a West Virginia journalist who was arrested after repeatedly questioning U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price broke no law and won't be prosecuted.
A joint press release from the independent Public News Service and the Kanawha County prosecutor's office says a review cleared Daniel Ralph Heyman of any lawbreaking.
The Charleston-based reporter for Public News Service was charged with willful disruption of governmental processes at the state Capitol in Charleston during Price's May 9 visit. Heyman had wanted to ask Price whether domestic violence is a pre-existing condition under the Republican health care proposal.
A criminal complaint by Capitol police said Heyman caused a disturbance with his persistent questions and "was aggressively breaching" Secret Service agents.
Heyman said he did nothing wrong.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A media company whose reporter was arrested in West Virginia while questioning U.S. Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price is calling for the charge to be dropped.
Public News Service founder Lark Corbeil said on a conference call Wednesday that Daniel Heyman "was doing his job" in asking questions of Price at the state Capitol in Charleston. Special Counsel to the President of the United States Kellyanne Conway also was at the event.
Capitol police charged Heyman on Tuesday with willful disruption of governmental processes, a misdemeanor. They said in a criminal complaint that Heyman was yelling questions and tried to breach Secret Service security.
Corbeil calls the charge "an overreach."
No court date was immediately set.
According to its website, the Boulder, Colorado-based Public News Service manages independent news services in 36 states, reporting on social, community and environmental issues for print and radio customers.
Meanwhile, Price says police at West Virginia's Capitol "did what they felt was appropriate" in arresting Heyman.
Price spoke Wednesday at a meeting on the opioid epidemic in Concord, New Hampshire.
Price was asked if he felt Heyman was being too aggressive and whether it was appropriate that he was arrested. Price said it was "not my decision to make."
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A reporter was arrested Tuesday at the West Virginia Capitol for allegedly causing a disturbance and yelling questions at federal leaders in town, court records show.
It happened during a visit from U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and Special Counsel to the President of the United States Kellyanne Conway.
Dan Heyman, 54, of Charleston, is charged with willful disruption of governmental processes, which is a misdemeanor.
According to the criminal complaint, Heyman was arrested after “aggressively breaching the Secret Service agents to the point where the agents were forced to remove him a couple of times from the area walking up the hallway in the main building of the Capitol.”
The complaint goes on to say that Heyman caused a disturbance by “yelling questions at Ms. Conway and Secretary Price.”
According to the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia (ACLU-WV), Heyman works for the Public News Service and mainly reports on West Virginia-based stories.
The ACLU held a news conference Tuesday night on the steps of the Capitol Building in response to Heyman’s arrest.