LOGAN COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Three volunteer fire departments in Logan County are under investigation for misuse of funds, according to the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office.
“Our Public Integrity and Fraud Unit was called into Logan County specifically to look at allegations at the Logan County Volunteer Fire Department #2,” said Kallie Cart, Deputy Chief of Staff for WV State Auditor’s Office. “That resulted in one investigation that has now come to a close, but we also have those other two that are in Chapmanville and Verdunville.”
Cart said the initial investigation into the Logan County Fire Department #2 which involved Lisa Wimmer, the former fire department secretary, led to a felony conviction.
“She was using money from the government that was intended to help the community through the local fire department there,” Cart said. “She was using that for her own personal needs, about $40,000 mainly to pay off credit cards.”
According to a press release, Wimmer pled guilty to a felony charge, but her sentence was reduced to probation.
After that, Cart said the special prosecutor turned his attention to former Verdunville Fire Chief Windell Hunter. County records show he was charged in September with destroying public records.
According to the criminal complaint, over $3,300 was unaccounted for and Hunter failed to provide authorities appropriate documents to validate the expenses were used for the benefit of the department.
The third and final investigation deals with former Chapmanville Chief Thomas Perry and his son Cody Perry. The indictment lists a total of five felony charges including embezzlement, fraud and conspiracy.
Cart wouldn’t say how much Perry and his son may have stolen or how much total money is missing in Logan County.
“We hope that we’re sending a strong message that we are looking, we are watching and this won’t be tolerated,” she said.
In a Facebook post, the Logan County Commission said these allegations against these individuals is “deeply concerning,” and they plan to take action.
“In response to these allegations, the Logan County Commission has started the process of reevaluating how taxpayer funds are distributed to the various volunteer fire departments operating in Logan County.”Logan County Commission
They said no decision can be made until a public meeting is held, which will be happening on Sept. 26 at 3:00 p.m. to address the matter.