EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCriminal Investigation Underway Against Mayor Of Pratt
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Sep. 11, 2013 6:18 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 11, 2013 11:06 PM EDT
Pratt , Kanawha County , West Virginia
West Virginia State Police and the Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office are investigating the mayor of Pratt after a traffic stop sparks a criminal probe.
Mayor Gary Fields was pulled over on Aug. 29 driving a city car, after it veered off Paint Creek Road, according to State Police.
"Mr. Fields was pulled over by a state trooper, at that point that's when the investigation started," Kanawha Prosecutor Mark Plants said.
Fields was present at the town's regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday night. Anticipation lingering in the crowd that a criminal investigation against him would be brought up, but instead they went into executive session to discuss "personnel matters." They decided to yank the mayor's police cruiser, citing past allegations.
It was what was found inside that city car that's sparked the criminal investigation, according to troopers.
Troopers and prosecutors are remaining tight lipped on what exactly was found in the cruiser, only saying they were "indicators" worthy of an investigation.
"I can't release any of the details at this point but in the next 48 to 72 hours, we ought to be able to make a determination if any crimes have occurred and at that point it will be public knowledge," Plants said Wednesday.
Attempts by Eyewitness News to reach Fields for comment were unsuccessful, but he did make a post on a Facebook page Tuesday night following the meeting.
"We had a wonderful town council meeting tonight here in the town of Pratt," he wrote. "The citizens of Pratt should really be thankful that you have a town council that has your best interest at heart. I was very impressed with the way they handled business tonight."
"If there is evidence that a crime occured, he needs to be arrested like anyone else would be," Plants said.
Council members said if Field has to conduct city business in his personal car, he will be reimbursed for mileage.
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