CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Charleston Police Chief James “Tyke” Hunt resigned Friday morning and an interim chief was named.
Hunt has been chief of police since 2020 after his predecessor, Opie Smith Jr., retired, according to the city of Charleston. Mayor Amy Goodwin said Deputy Chief Scott Dempsey will serve as interim chief of police.
Councilmember Jeanine Faegre told Nexstar’s WOWK that Hunt will have a planned surgery and return to finish out his year as a lieutenant for the department.
Hunt has recently been accused of inappropriately using his position after a woman complained to city officials that he used it 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 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. We will continue to update you as more information becomes available.