CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—We’re learning new information about an investigation into an alleged money theft by a West Virginia State Police captain at Mardi Gras Casino.
The West Virginia Department of Homeland Security, in response to a 13 News FOIA request filed on March 15, 2023, released a redacted incident report from the casino.
In the report, the casino details a security manager’s interaction with a patron who told the casino that he lost a bank envelope containing at least $500. The man told the security manager that he got up from a slot machine to get a beverage from the self-serve soda machine, and he remembered putting the envelope down there. That was the last time he remembered having the envelope.
The casino reviewed surveillance footage, in which another man was seen picking up the envelope and then leaving the property.
Someone working on behalf of the casino was able to track down the man who picked up the envelope, recover it, and return it to the man who lost it. The envelope contained $731.
Earlier this week, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s office released footage of the alleged money theft incident.
Last week, we learned about an anonymous letter about an incident in May 2021. In it, the writer says that an “appointee of Colonel [Jan] Cahill” was caught on camera picking up an envelope with money in it after a man left it behind at a slot machine.
The letter claims that the incident was covered up by the West Virginia State Police. It also claimed that when the captain was confronted about the incident, he retired.
Both Cahill and the Justice Administration confirmed the retirement.
No charges were ever filed in the case, and 13 News is not naming the captain.
An internal investigation has also been launched about another trooper, who was at the time assigned to the West Virginia Lottery and would have had knowledge of the incident.
The retirement sparked backlash at a time when the accountability of the top brass of the West Virginia State Police was being called into question by another anonymous letter that alleged 18 points of serious widespread misconduct among the top leaders of the department.
On Monday, superintendent Colonel Jan Cahill resigned from his position with WVSP, and Gov. Justice appointed Jack Chambers as an interim superintendent.
According to the governor, Cahill requested to speak with him Monday morning. Justice said Cahill began their conversation by telling him, “I resigned five minutes ago.”
Justice says he expects that Chambers will address any issues and allegations against the WVSP, including allegations of a trooper, who has since passed away, installing a camera in a women’s locker room at a state police headquarters and recording video. Justice says other troopers who later found the USB flash drive with the video on it, allegedly “threw it on the floor and stomped on it,” destroying the evidence.
The governor calls these allegations a violation of women’s rights, saying a women’s locker room should be considered a “safe place,” and urged Chambers to get to the bottom of the situation.
According to Justice, federal investigators are also looking into the allegations against the West Virginia State Police. Justice says he received a report on allegations, but calls it “way too incomplete,” and says the state needs to continue investigations.
In an interview on Tuesday, Cahill said he believes that West Virginia State Police should be held to a higher standard, but he feels that he is the “fall guy” following the receipt of those two anonymous letters.