CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — An investigation into Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper is raising questions about who takes the lead in certain investigations.
Sen. Mike Stuart (R-Kanawha; West Virginia Attorney General candidate) thinks what is happening right now in Kanawha County is a perfect example of why a law in West Virginia needs to be changed.
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.
Kent Carper remains hospitalized after having heart bypass surgery last Thursday. That was just three days after a woman called 911 from Daniel Boone Park, alleging that Carper had indecently exposed himself to her.
Charleston Police are investigating, 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 says it’s time to give the state’s Attorney General’s Office the independent power to conduct criminal investigations.
“And I know he’s recovering, so I wish him a speedy recovery. But you want an independent person, you want an independent body to be able to look at all of these allegations. And ultimately people want the truth. They don’t want it to be doctored because of influences. They don’t want there to be any sort of political influence,” said State Sen. Mike Stuart, (R) Candidate for WV Attorney General.
Stuart added, “Well it’s the appearance the public will see. They’ll question the honesty and the integrity of an investigation. That’s why you need to have an independent third party, whether it’s the Attorney General who works for one master, the people of West Virginia, or some other third party that gets hired.”
Stuart’s primary opponent for Attorney General, Sen. Ryan Weld (R-Brooke) is opposed to giving the Attorney General criminal investigation authority.