WEST UNION, W.Va. — A former Doddridge County sheriff and magistrate has been charged with falsifying information stemming from an incident involving handgun purchases in 2018.

Michael Headley

On Nov. 2, troopers with the Bridgeport detachment of the West Virginia State Police interviewed Michael Headley, 51, of West Union, in reference to “misuse of Doddridge County funds” while he was acting as sheriff of Doddridge County, according to a criminal complaint.

During the interview, troopers informed Headley of documents which “appeared to be falsified” about the purchase of seven Sig P365 pistols, one Taurus Judge revolver, one Taurus Judge holster, seven Sig P365 magazines and one box of Remington .410 ammunition from a store in Ellenboro on Dec. 26, 2018, troopers said.

Troopers obtained the receipt for the purchase which showed “the transaction was paid by check,” and forms signed by Headley, which included information on the Taurus Judge revolver. However, the receipt Headley turned into the Doddridge County Sheriff’s Department included seven Sig P365 pistols and “nothing else was included on the receipt,” according to the complaint.

The receipt also stated that “the total purchase price was the same” and that “the individual price of each pistol was adjusted higher to make the total match the original receipt,” troopers said.

Around the same time as the alleged incident, Headley was part of an investigation into a former West Union mayor who was accused of stealing money from the town’s police department.

During the interview, Headley “provided officers with a Taurus Judge pistol” and stated that “he made the receipt that was turned into the Doddridge County Sheriff’s Office,” according to the complaint.

Headley has been charged with falsifying accounts, which is a felony.

Earlier this month, Kathie Titus was sworn in to replace Headley as magistrate.