INSTITUTE, WV (WOWK) — For the first time since the five-page anonymous letter surfaced regarding allegations of widespread misconduct within the top ranks of the West Virginia State Police, Superintendent Colonel Jan Cahill sat down with 13 News to do an interview.

The anonymous letter that was distributed to top government officials and lawmakers had 18 bullet points of allegations mainly dealing with top brass members of the organization. It prompted an investigation by the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security.

“I could see it being jarring if you’re totally in the dark on the things but you know from my perspective from where I’m at when I finally read the letter I’m like there’s just really not a whole lot of anything here. These are easily explainable,” Col. Cahill told 13 News. “Some of them, again, were just total nonsense. And when I saw the letter, I see a letter that anyone and I’ve been told this from other professional people and colleagues, you could see right off the bat if someone was of someone or some people probably within the organization that was discontent about something, malcontents.”

Col. Cahill says that he has confidence in the top-ranking officials of the department. Adding that if he had knowledge of any nefarious behavior he would hold them to account.

“Oh, they would be gone. I mean, I’ve got a track record of that as well. Yes, they would be gone,” Col. Cahill said.

Col. Cahill says believes the letter lacks actual witness to the events listed. He also says that the writer or writers of what he calls an “anonymous hit piece” lacked credibility in part because one allegation listed was associated with a date after the alleged perpetrator had died. That allegation had to do with a camera being hidden in a women’s locker room at the West Virginia State Police Academy. He said the incident happened at the Academy most likely in 2015 or early 2016.

According to the letter, a drive with the footage was discovered after the death of the alleged perpetrator the drive with the footage was discovered and ordered destroyed with no investigation. One of the people involved is a high-ranking member of the department.

“I’m troubled it was destroyed, I think from what I was told later I think there was probably good intentions on that one viewing, one clip that was observed that I’ve never seen there was nothing tangible for us to put our hands on right now. Yes. We would like to have at least known that it existed or and I don’t take that flippantly out of direct family members that went through the exact same shenanigans at their workplace in another state, but that this or that was just you were really put in a conundrum on this when that conversation happened and the one person that it was directed at as being a victim was approached,” Col. Cahill said. “I mean, this person said they wanted the matter. The person felt like, yes, it was just her because she was looking back in retrospect about when she was going into the gym and when a certain person was around.”

He said the victim in the case wanted the matter closed.

“You know, I think you’ve got to have some sensitivity and common sense on that. And the other person whose name was being thrown into that investigation is deceased,” Col. Cahill said. “No way to defend yourself from dragging a family through the mud.”

Among the other allegations in the letter include a ghost account for purchasing and those personal items being purchased through what is known as a p-card. He said that the department has had successful audits, and would open the books for anyone to go through line-by-line.

One portion of the letter says that body cameras and GPS trackers are placed on troopers and in field trooper’s cruisers but are not being utilized by ranking members and specifically senior staff. It goes on to say: “Senior Staff members do not follow department policies nor do they follow legislative ruling, as they are governing members under their command.”

Amanda Barren asked Col. Cahill the reason why the same tracking devices are not in the vehicles of rank and file’s superiors.

“It’s a money thing. You roll it out to the people that is dealing with the public every day. And that’s just to me, that’s just common sense. Then you roll that out with you, so to speak. Only your infantry people, the people that’s dealing with the public,” Cahill said. “And we’re up to I think it’s over 400.”

When asked what he thought about lower-ranking members feeling targeted by the tracking devices when people in higher-ranking positions were not being held to the same standards Cahill responded, “I could see that. I probably would have said that when I was a TFC back in 1992 or three or something like that. But that’s a money thing you roll it out to for the people that’s, that’s representing you with the public.”

Barren asked Col. Cahill what his message would be to troopers who might feel concerned about the allegations listed in the letter or feel that they do not have a place to properly air grievances for fear of retaliation.

“There’s nothing to worry about on the senior staff whatsoever. I mean, like I said, these are to answer your question earlier, they just I haven’t seen anything at all that’s removed any trust from anybody that’s mentioned in that on one what I’m aware of, what we’ve cooperated we’ve been asked for some documents and timesheets, things like that. We’ve cooperated too.”

Cahill said he would not be opposed to putting those trackers on the cars of senior staff.

Col. Cahill said that a trooper, not a supervisor as the letter alleges, is on leave pending a federal investigation for complaints of sexual assault prior to the letter being written. He said the trooper with the Williamson Detachment is on leave.

Col. Cahill said that at the request of the Justice Administration from a memo dated March 2, he, along with other high-ranking members of the WVSP, handed over his work phone and personal phone as a part of a request for more information.

That request came after the arrest of a state Trooper named Joseph Comer. Comer was arrested in connection to strangulation and domestic violence charges dating back to Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.

The criminal complaint in the case was filed on February 23. The day before Trooper Comer was set to have a grievance hearing. Trooper Comer’s Attorney David Moye says that his client was demoted after bringing concerns to his superior about issues within the ranks of the department. Attorney Moye calls the arrest retaliation.

Col. Cahill says that is not the case.

He went to say that they knew the timing couldn’t have been worse He went on to say that new information surfaced in the case that lead them to believe that “…you just couldn’t sit on. You’re put on notice in this day and age and everyone in the world were on solid ground on that was no, there was no retaliation, no retribution.”

“And as I told you earlier, it’s funny to use the word retaliate and in my opinion, it seems like the only retaliation that’s been done is against the agency itself. When we try to investigate our own launch investigations and try to protect people within your organization, how open there’s a safe work environment, then it seems like that’s what we’re the agency that’s getting retaliated against for that.”

Col. Cahill won’t say if he believes Comer wrote the letter that prompted the investigation. Neither will Comer’s attorney.

Comer is due in court Monday, March 13.

Col. Cahill says he has confidence in his top brass and also has confidence in himself as the West Virginia State Police Superintendent. He says he does not have confidence in the Department of Homeland Security Investigation.

“We offered up personal and work phones. Knock yourself out. We have nothing to hide. We were doing the right things. And I can’t say this enough.”