EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSClay Commission Lays Out Plan For Sheriff's Resignation Amid Federal Investigation
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Aug. 14, 2013 6:10 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 14, 2013 10:36 PM EDT
Clay , Clay County , West Virginia
Preparing for the inevitable, Clay County Commissioners laid out a plan for the sheriff's resignation amid a federal investigation.
A walk down Main Street, and chatter about the Clay County sheriff is on every corner.
"Just because you wear a badge and sit on a high seat and run the town, you shouldn't get away with anything," Charles Keenan of Clay said.
Inside the county courthouse, commissioners met publicly for the first time since the news broke last week that Sheriff Miles Slack had been indicted on a federal felony wiretapping charge.
"I was in shock," Clay County Commission President Mike Pierson said.
Shock quickly turning to the realization that Slack would likely have to resign after only serving as sheriff for a little more than eight months. During that time, Slack is accused of installing a spying device called a Keystroke Logger on his now ex-wife's computer who works as a magistrate's assistant.
During a routine inspection of the computers by the WV Supreme Court of Appeals, the device was discovered. Sources told Eyewitness News that the sheriff was caught on camera installing the device, federal officials believe was only being used to gain personal knowledge about his wife's actions, not to compromise any county information.
"He did some things that he shouldn't have done but we can't really dwell on that, we have to move forward and look out for Clay County," Pierson said.
As of Wednesday, Slack was still the sheriff in Clay. Commissioners believe he'll resign once the case starts to play out in court. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office said a court date had not yet been set for Slack.
Slack was charged in a court filing known as an information, which typically indicates the defendant is cooperating with the investigation.
Commissioners said once his resignation papers are submitted, Chief Tax Deputy Reva Schoonover will be given the ability to sign checks. They then have 30 days to name a replacement.
Commissioners said 13 people have expressed an interest in the position. Three of those have been submitted from the Clay County Democratic Executive Committee. They include two former county commissioners: Fran King and Peter Triplett, and former deputy James Paxton.
"Things happen, you just have to pick up and go on," Pierson said.
Slack's replacement will serve until the November 2014 election. They are also eligible to run in that race.
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