CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A former Charleston police chief and another officer are on administrative leave amid the ongoing investigation into misconduct.
According to a spokesperson for the CPD, Lieutenant Tyke Hunt and Sergeant Richie Basford have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation.
“As is standard practice for an internal PSD investigation, Sg.t Richie Basford and Lt. Tyke Hunt have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation. As this is an active investigation, we cannot comment on any details of the investigation,” a CPD spokesperson said.
This comes shortly after two women have recently formal filed complaints against former CPD Chief James “Tyke” Hunt alleging sexual misconduct. Hunt resigned Friday, Aug. 18 citing personal and medical reasons, and an interim chief was named.
The first complaint came from Jennifer Harless and prompted an investigation by the West Virginia State Police. She is not a city employee, but alleges that she and Hunt had a consensual sexual relationship, and that Hunt launched an FBI investigation into 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.
In late August 2023, a second woman, Chelsea McCoy, filed a complaint with the City of Charleston, alleging that she was pressured into having sex by then-Sergeant Tyke Hunt during her application process. She also alleges that she failed her polygraph test to be certified into the police force, but Hunt passed her anyway.
Last month, McCoy, who applied to be an officer in 2018, said on a local podcast, “Scoop Squad, Truth Squad,” that she had been worried about passing the polygraph exam due to her past drug use. She told Hunt about her concerns but did not mention the drugs. She said Hunt reassured her that she would pass. McCoy said she lied during the polygraph but was told by Hunt that she passed.
In July, Charleston City Council member Shannon Snodgrass requested an independent investigation into Hunt, citing Harless’ complaint. Councilwoman Beth Kerns also said in August that an investigation needs to be conducted by those not under the command of Hunt to eliminate conflict of interest.
Charleston City Council voted 21-5 Monday, Aug. 7 in opposition to opening an outside investigation into alleged misconduct by Police Chief Tyke Hunt.
Hunt said in an apology letter in July to the Charleston City Council that he “misused city property,” and was suspended without pay for three days in June 2022. Hunt was not specific about what property he misused.
This is a developing story and WOWK 13 News will update this article as more information becomes available.