WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Mingo Commissioner Accuses Opponent Of Giving Rides, $50 Checks and Steak Dinners To Early Voters

Reported: May. 12, 2014 6:09 PM EDT
Updated: May. 12, 2014 7:39 PM EDT
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

Political mudslinging continuing in Mingo County on the eve of what some of calling the most important election in recent memory for the corruption plagued county.

In a letter to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Greg "Hootie" Smith accuses his opponent, former sheriff Lonnie Hannah, of buying an illegal billboard for a magistrate candidate, renting a van to bring in early voters, and giving them $50 checks, or a free steak dinner.

Hannah, in a statement through his attorney, denies the allegations, and accuses of Smith of breaking the law.

Tuesday's election is the first since an ongoing federal investigation brought down four major office holders.

"My opponent has campainged this whole election that he is a candidate to end political corruption, when in fact it just looks like he wants to write a whole new chapter," Smith said in an interview with Eyewitness News on Sunday.

Smith provided the letter he says he sent Tennant's office on May 9th.

In it, he says Hannah illegally bought a billboard for $1,031.25 for magistrate candidate Jim Harvey.

Smith also makes claims Hannah and his "political teammates" have rented a van and have been "hauling individuals all week to early voting." He also attached a picture of the van he believes was being used to do so.

"My opponent and his van drivers are providing the individuals riding the van with $50 checks from his campaign committee or, in the alternative, driving said individuals to my opponent's family owned restaurant for a steak dinner after they vote," the letter states.

"These tactics that my opponent and his teammates are doing is just despicable," Smith said.

Hannah denies the allegations and in a statement says, "The May 9, 2014 letter to Natalie Tennant is a desperate attempt from Team Mingo's Treasurer, Greg "Hootie" Smith to maintain power and control over the people of Mingo County. Smith's complaint is not under oath as required by law, and contains false allegations."

"I never gave candidate Harvey a campaign contribution nor have I violated any elections laws regarding campaign workers. However, by disclosing his false complaint to the press, Smith has committed a misdemeanor offense and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $1,000, nor more than $5,000, and shall be confined in jail not less than six months nor more than one year. West Virginia CodeĀ§3-8-8(3)(i)." Hannah says.

"I trust the citizens of Mingo County will get rid of the last remnants of Team Mingo by voting its treasurer, Greg "Hootie" Smith, out of office."

Tennant says her office can not publicly discuss the details of individual election law violation investigations.

"We look into every allegation every complaint, any question that comes into this office because I do not tolerate anyone who would try to chip away at our democracy, our election process," she said.

Hannah's attorney says he has not been served with any type of complaint.

Both Smith and Hannah are democrats, and with no republican on the ballot, the winner will serve on the Mingo County Commission.

There is also a commission seat on the ballot to fill the remainder of David Baisden's unexpired term.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Autopsy Backlog Affecting Police Work
News
Jul. 24, 2014 11:37 PM EDT
A backlog of autopsy reports at the State Medical Examiner's ...
Full News Story and Video

Huntington Council Votes To Hire New Police Officers
News
Jul. 24, 2014 11:28 PM EDT
Major changes could be coming to the Huntington Police ...
Full News Story and Video

Library Levy Headed Back To Ballot
News
Jul. 24, 2014 11:22 PM EDT
The Kanawha County Public Library levy will get another ...
Full News Story and Video


News Kanawha Commission Files Petition To Remove Plants From Office
Jul. 24, 2014 11:18 PM EDT
News St. Albans Team Heading To Regionals
Jul. 24, 2014 10:54 PM EDT
News Vigil Held For Gaza Peace; Group Opposes Israeli Policy
Jul. 24, 2014 11:17 PM EDT
News Picnic With The Saints Set For This Weekend At The Greenbrier
Jul. 24, 2014 11:34 PM EDT
News Man Who Shot At Police Sentenced To 35 Years
Jul. 24, 2014 6:30 PM EDT
News Man Arrested For Indecent Exposure Has Ties To Local Youth Sports
Jul. 24, 2014 8:35 PM EDT
News Unhappy "Dirty Girls" File Reports With Wisconsin Better Business Bureau
Jul. 24, 2014 8:46 PM EDT
News Three Face Charges After Woman Claims She Was Robbed With Sawed-Off Shotgun
Jul. 24, 2014 6:32 PM EDT
News Woman Charged With Robbery Headed To Grand Jury
Jul. 24, 2014 8:52 PM EDT
News Kenova Police Implement Drug Task Force
Jul. 24, 2014 8:57 PM EDT
News UAW Backs Grimes In Ky. U.S. Senate Race
Jul. 24, 2014 4:56 PM EDT
News Blenko To Host Festival Of Glass Aug. 1-2
Jul. 24, 2014 4:44 PM EDT
News Salvation Army Hosts Luncheon For Volunteers
Jul. 24, 2014 4:28 PM EDT
News One Worker Killed, Two Injured In Suburban Philadelphia Hospital Shooting
Jul. 24, 2014 5:14 PM EDT
News Walkers Welcome At Charleston Distance Run
Jul. 24, 2014 4:02 PM EDT
News WV Hot Dog Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Jul. 24, 2014 4:09 PM EDT
News Casey, Mooney Talk Business Policy At Forum
Jul. 24, 2014 7:04 PM EDT
News Suspect In West Side Murder Waives Preliminary Hearing
Jul. 24, 2014 6:50 PM EDT
News U.S. Issues 186 Mining Citations In June
Jul. 24, 2014 3:13 PM EDT
News Deputies Say Juvenile B&E Suspects Arrested Clad In Their Underwear
Jul. 24, 2014 3:30 PM EDT
News Wisconsin Better Business Bureau Issues Warning About Dirty Girl Run
Jul. 24, 2014 3:07 PM EDT
News Free Basketball Camp Concludes At Community Center
Jul. 24, 2014 1:53 PM EDT
News WV Capitol Police Officer Kills Copperhead On Capitol Grounds
Jul. 24, 2014 6:35 PM EDT
News MU To Paint The Capital City Green
Jul. 24, 2014 12:32 PM EDT
News New Work Requirement Coming For Healthy People Who Receive Food Stamps
Jul. 24, 2014 1:02 PM EDT
News WV Organizations To Push For Anti-Cancer Vaccines
Jul. 24, 2014 10:49 AM EDT
News Huntington Unveils New Engaging Website For Citizens
Jul. 24, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News Ukrainian Prime Minister Resigns
Jul. 24, 2014 11:54 AM EDT
News France's Foreign Minister Says Missing Air Algerie Flight "Probably Crashed"
Jul. 24, 2014 11:02 AM EDT
News More Than 8,000 WV Consumers Receiving Refunds
Jul. 24, 2014 10:46 AM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Kanawha commissioners to seek prosecutor's removal

Kanawha County commissioners have agreed to begin removal proceedings against Prosecutor Mark Plants.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Kentucky has 237 of the children crossing into US

Kentucky has received less than 1 percent of the unaccompanied children crossing into the United States.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio man convicted of killing mom, keeping body

A northeast Ohio man faces a life prison sentence after being convicted of fatally stabbing his mother then living in the house with the decomposing corpse for about six months.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.