(01/24/2002)
Lawsuits and professional misconduct complaints are pending in Braxton County against detachment commander Sgt. John Bonazzo of the West Virginia State Police, after he issued a memo targeting Braxton County citizens.

Bonazzo circulated a "target list" to the Braxton Sheriff's office, the Gassaway Police Department and others, listing eleven Braxton residents, including two juveniles, stating "These people do not need to be given a break if you stop them." (SEE earlier Hur Herald story)

"We are now making a decision about bringing a suit against Sgt. Bonazzo and the State Police," said Jeremy Grubb, 21, of Sutton, who was on the target list. Grubb said he has been stopped six times since October for reasons he states are unreasonable. Grubb said he was arrested for DUI about one year ago. Others on the published list are expected to join in the civil suit.

Since the list was made public and Bonazzo was reportedly called on the carpet, Grubb said "Sgt. Bonazzo stopped me again last Friday, claiming I drove across the yellow line, accused me of drinking and searched my car. I blew a zero on the machine."

The internal affairs arm of the West Virginia State Police in Charleston is investigating, according to Captain B. D. Gore, who said he takes this type of thing seriously. Captain Gore has declined to comment on the investigation, after a written request from The Hur Herald.

Bonazzo reportedly became angered after some individuals created an internet site which revealed sexual impropriety linked to a Braxton state policeman. A copy of Bonazzo's concerns was sent to Braxton Sheriff Howard Carpenter who said "I threw it away."

Bonazzo has reportedly made claims about unprofessional conduct linked to Braxton Magistrate Carolyn Crookshanks. Complaints regarding Sgt. Bonazzo and Braxton County officers are being filed by other individuals.


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