A lot of the anger stems from Richwood and Friday’s announcement that four current or former city officials were facing criminal charges for misappropriation of flood aid.
But there is also anger elsewhere.
Hundreds of students in Elkview and Clendenin still have school in portable classrooms because the high school and an elementary school were destroyed by flood waters back in 2016.
“We’re all frustrated here. The students, the parents, the teachers, our community, our businesses. We are all frustrated with this. Our schools are what tie us all together. They’re what bind our community. And we’re going on three years now,” said Del. Dean Jeffries, (R-Kanawha).
So the state’s Joint Committee on Flooding will reconvene for the first time since December, and members welcome a continued state and federal investigation.
“Absolutely. We’re talking about federal funds that have come from FEMA. That I think would warrant a federal investigation without a doubt,” said Del. Dean Jeffries, (R) Kanawha.
Sources who asked not to be identified confirmed the federal probe to us. But the U.S. Attorney is saying little.
“So I will say this. Public corruption is very important to this office, but I will make no comment about anything we are or are not looking at. And so no comment. But I want folks to understand that no comment doesn’t mean we are. It doesn’t mean we aren’t. We just don’t comment about those things,” said Mike Stuart, U.S. Attorney Southern District of West Virginia.
Meanwhile, a possible site for a new Herbert Hoover High School has been identified, but F-E-M-A still hasn’t written the check. That’s much to the frustration of many West Virginia leaders.
The next opportunity for the Joint Flooding Committee to meet will be the Legislative Interim Session on April 29th and 30th.