(10/25/2007)
Wirt County school officials are still not revealing the current employment status of Wirt Middle School principal J. D. Hoover, Jr., although a Wirt school teacher told a Charleston newspaper he was on leave.

Hoover, 36, a resident of Parkersburg, has been charged by the West Virginia State Police with two counts of unlawfully and feloniously possessing deadly weapons on education facilities, reportedly the campus where he is principal in Elizabeth.

The criminal complaint against Hoover was obtained by a Freedom of Information request filed with Wirt County magistrate Janey Wigal.

The complaint says Cpl. Gary McCullough of Elizabeth responded to the Wirt County Board of Education and spoke to Daniel C. Metz (superintendent) in regards to (Hoover) bringing firearms on to school grounds.

"The defendant (Hoover) advised superintendent Metz he had brought two firearms to the Wirt County Middle School property on October 8," according to the complaint.

"The defendant (Hoover) further advised that he left school grounds and subsequently returned to the Wirt Middle School while possessing one of the firearms in his vehicle."

Authorities are investigating the circumstances under which Hoover had the weapons on school property.

They have declined to comment on the case.

Bond was set at $1,000.


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