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Sunday, August 22, 2010

[WV] Details and identity of WV State Trooper accused of domestic violence well protected by legislative rule

The Dominion Post (Morgantown, W.Va.)
By Michelle Wolford
August 21, 2010
[Excerpts] An off-duty [Kingwood Detachment] state trooper and his companion are the subject of a State Police domestic-violence investigation in the Newburg area... The trooper, who was not identified, was placed on administrative leave, according to the release... [Preston County Prosecuting Attorney Mel] Snyder told The Dominion Post he will review "any evidence and information they have so we can decide if there is any criminal conduct and, if so, what charges will be filed." Snyder also declined to identify the trooper. Preston 911's online log lists a domestic incident reported at 7:05 a.m. Friday, in Newburg. The log contains no further information. "This investigation is continuing, therefore, no additional information is available pending further consultation with the Prosecutor," the release said... "We take any allegations of domestic violence very seriously and we investigate them," [Sgt. Michael T. Baylous, spokesman for the West Virginia State Police] said... "But there is no paperwork that is made public. It's just an allegation until there's an arrest. In any investigation, we don't want to wrongly accuse somebody of something they didn't do. We don't want to cause someone the pain and suffering that would come with being wrongly accused of something -- no matter who it is."... Capt. Gordon Ingold, director of the West Virginia State Police Professional Standards Section, said information related to such investigations is protected by legislative rule. That legislative rule, Title 81, applies specifically to the State Police. Professional standards investigations are covered in Series 10 of that rule. Section 6 of the legislative rule applies to records of internal inquiries -- the portion of the rule Ingold said makes clear what happens at the end of the investigation. It states: "Documents, evidence and other items related to complaints, internal investigations, internal inquiries and/or contained in case files shall not be released, disseminated or disclosed, except by the direction of the Superintendent or by order of a court with competent jurisdiction." [Full article here]
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