AM Stone | WVOW News
LOGAN COUNTY Two former firefighters for the Chapmanville Volunteer Fire Department have been indicted by a grand jury.
According to the indictment list released Tuesday, September 21, 52-year-old Thomas Owen Perry and his 35-year-old son Cody Owen Perry were each indicted on conspiracy and embezzlement charges. Thomas was also indicted for obtaining money, property and services by false pretenses. Cody additionally was indicted for fraudulent schemes.
A special state prosecutor was sworn in earlier this year to investigate several fire departments in Logan County.
A statement on the Chapmanville Volunteer Fire Department's social media account indicated the father and son duo are no longer members.
“We are aware of the indictment of two of our former members,” the statement said. “These members have not dealt with our department finances or our operations for several months. We have been fully cooperative during this investigation. We are also aware that indictments are merely accusations.”
Another indictment from the May grand jury term, charged 52-year-old Lisa Wimmer with embezzlement during her time with the Logan Station number 2 at Man. Wimmer was sentenced to probation and $40,000 restitution as part of a plea deal.
A West Virginia State Auditor’s Office investigation also resulted in charges against a member at the Verdunville Volunteer Fire Department.
According to a complaint in the Logan County Magistrate Court, 47-year-old Windell Brian Hunter was charged with concealment or destruction of public record by officer.
Hunter allegedly made $3,300 in purchases and could not provide documentation the purchases were made for the benefit of the fire squad.
Hunter was previously serving as Fire Chief for the Verdunville fire department.
Indictments are formal charges, however individuals are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Logan County Commission released a statement on the commission’s social media page acknowledging the recent indictments and Magistrate Court charges.
The statement from the commission said the charges are “deeply concerning” and asserted the commission has begun a process to evaluate how taxpayer funds are distributed to the volunteer fire departments in Logan County.
Moreover, the commission's statement also assured residents the allegations will not affect the quality of fire service provided to the citizens of the county.
The statement said the matter of the fire departments will discussed further at the next meeting of the Logan County Commission on Monday, September 26 at 3 p.m. in the Commission office building, across from the courthouse, on Stratton Street.