WV COMMISSION ON SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS PROBING MT. ZION PSD OPERATIONS

(01/03/2011)

A myriad of problems related to record keeping and missing records at the Mt. Zion Public Service District, has prompted the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations to investigate the Calhoun agency.

The Commission has reportedly been investigating the Mt. Zion PSD for several months, interviewing principal parties and looking at records.

The Commission on Special Investigations, created as a select investigatory arm of the WV Legislature, has long been involved in conducting high-profile investigations in the Mountain State to determine if any criminal or civil statutes have been violated at any level of state government.

The Commission is the only state agency that is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, and does not comment on it's current or past investigations, but reports directly to a panel of legislators who act upon findings.

The Special Commission's investigation follows a year-long investigation by the West Virginia Public Service Commission of the Mt. Zion PSD, requested by the Calhoun Commission.

The West Virginia Public Service Commission acknowledged their audit was "cursory" in nature, covering only one year of the PSD's operation.

The agency said their investigation was not directed toward discovering criminal problems, but was directed toward re-grouping the troubled PSD.

During a final hearing in Grantsville, Calhoun prosecutor Rocky Holmes asked PSD auditor Troy Eggleton if the investigation cleared questions regarding any wrongdoing.

Eggleton replied, "I cannot assume there was no wrongdoing."

Eggleton said the Mount Zion PSD records were in "disarray, with a large amount of records missing.

It has not been learned if a comprehensive audit of the Mt. Zion PSD books is being conducted by the Special Commission.

The Calhoun Commission backed-off a forensic audit of the PSD that would have covered several years when they learned it could cost between $30,000-$40,000, money the county budget could not stand.

Meanwhile, the Mount Zion PSD Board has been praised by the WV Public Service Commission for their efforts to put the PSD back on track, and a $5.2 million waterline extension is moving forward.

See related story OFFICIALS SAY MT. ZION PSD BACK ON TRACK - Investigation Could Not Assure No Wrongdoing


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