KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper is under investigation for alleged lewd activity at Daniel Boone Park. Just days after the alleged incident, Carper underwent a quadruple bypass open-heart surgery.
The investigation into Carper is being conducted by the Charleston Police Department and began on May 15 when a woman called Metro 911 to report a man engaged in lewd behavior at Daniel Boone Park. An officer was dispatched to the scene and interviewed Carper who was in the park at the time.
The following day, Carper was admitted to a local hospital for heart problems and underwent open heart surgery on May 18.
Due to his hospitalization, Carper has not been available for comment. However, his daughter blamed the incident on his medical condition saying, “My father’s illness and his apparent confusion have been misinterpreted as being something inappropriate. My family and I regret this awful misunderstanding.”
The Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says they will request a special prosecutor to handle any potential charges that may result from the investigation into County Commission President Kent Carper.
The investigation is also raising questions about who takes the lead in certain investigations. Some believe cases that involve political figures or police agencies that do investigations themselves, such as the investigation into Commission President Kent Carper, deserve a more independent investigation.
Charleston Police are investigating this incident, but Metro 911 is involved, and potentially the sheriff’s department, and county prosecutor. The County Commission has authority over those last three.
Sen. Stuart, who is a candidate for the 2024 WV Attorney General’s race, says it’s time to give the state’s Attorney General’s Office the independent power to conduct criminal investigations.