CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper suffered a stroke over two weeks ago–before entering a hospital for heart treatment–a family spokesman said Tuesday.
Tom Susman, a Carper family spokesman, said the stroke happened late on May 14 or early on May 15. Carper underwent open-heart surgery on May 18.
Susman said the stroke, plus Carper’s diabetes and transplanted kidney, are complicating his recovery.
In a previous interview, Edison Hill, Carper’s brother-in-law and law partner, recalled that Carper was slurring his words and shuffling his feet on May 16.
Carper remains under investigation by Charleston Police following an allegation of lewd behavior at Daniel Boone Park on May 15. Police responded to the park after a woman called 911 and reported that a man had exposed himself. Carper was questioned and released with no citations issued.
Meanwhile, the Kanawha County prosecutor’s office says it will request that it be recused from the case and a special prosecutor from a different county be appointed to oversee the case if charges are filed. An official request for a special prosecutor had not been received by the Kanawha County clerk’s office as of Tuesday.
Likewise, an employee in the office of Judge Tera Salango – who must approve the request – said no motion had been filed with the judge.
13 News has filed public records requests with Metro 911 for the 911 calls and logs. That request was denied. Similarly, a request from CPD for the incident report and bodycam footage from the incident has also been denied.
Carper has been unavailable for comment due to his hospitalization. His daughter, Virginia Carper, issued a statement calling the allegations “an awful misunderstanding,” brought about by her father’s medical condition.