CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt apologized to city council members on Wednesday after a woman complained to city officials that Hunt had used his official position to launch an FBI investigation involving her.
According to city attorney Kevin Baker, the FBI did investigate Jennifer Harless after Hunt’s wife complained that she was being harassed by Harless. However, the FBI said they became involved because they take all such complaints seriously, and that Hunt’s position as police chief did not influence the investigation.
Baker also said that during his investigation into the matter, Harless described a consensual relationship between her and Hunt that led to the FBI complaints. Baker concluded that the allegations “constituted a violation of City policy.”
Hunt said in an apology letter to the council on Wednesday that he “misused city property,” and was suspended without pay for three days in June 2022. Hunt was not specific into what property he misused.
Harless declined an interview request from 13 News when the allegations first surfaced on a local podcast, “Scoop Squad, Truth Squad.”
Here is the letter Hunt sent to Charleston City Council on Wednesday:
“Council Members, I am truly sorry for the hurt that my actions have caused my family, my colleagues and the citizens of Charleston. I made a mistake and own my actions. I fully cooperated with the City’s Human Resources investigation. Through that investigation I agreed I misused city property for a personal matter and was disciplined with a three-day, unpaid suspension back in June of last year. This was a lapse in personal judgment, and I know I must work harder than ever to rebuild trust. I appreciate the faith Mayor Goodwin has in me to continue to lead the Charleston Police Department. I have spent my entire career serving the citizens of Charleston and it is an honor to serve as Chief. My dedication and commitment to our City has not waned for one second over the last year and I will continue working hard to repair personal and professional relationships.”
Here is the memorandum city attorney Kevin Baker sent on Wednesday:
Councilmember Shannon Snodgrass, who originally asked for an independent investigation into Hunt and law enforcement, told 13 News in part, “The statement from The City of Charleston’s City Attorney Kevin Baker (not the Mayor), and the apology from Chief Hunt further support my demand for an outside investigation, which should have happened from day one.”