(02/12/2002)
State Police officials in Charleston have declined to sustain charges brought against Trooper Tom Yanero and other officers, after issues regarding unprofessional conduct were made public at a meeting of the Gilmer Commission.

At least two county residents appeared before the Commission asking for relief.

Some of the professional misconduct charges were reportedly related to Trooper Yanero pulling a gun on a Deputy Assessor when he attempted to assess the trooper at his residence on Gluck Run.

Prosecutor Gerry Hough told the Gilmer Commission on October 25 that he was asking the state's highest officer (Col. Howard Hill) to look into incidents which have occurred in Gilmer County.

Those complaints have not been sustained by the agency, according to Sgt. Ingold of the Professional Standards Division, in a report returned to Gilmer County in December.

Deputy Assessor Dacel Ware reportedly told Gilmer County Assessor Gary Wolfe about a hostile response he received at Trooper Yanero's house on September 7, 2001. Multiple other incidents of gun pulling and abusive behavior have been reported in the county, relating to Yanero and other officers.

Some of the incidents were linked to traffic stops, threats, fighting and other abusive behavior toward several citizens, which has created a growing list of alleged victims, readily repeated by Gilmer county residents.

Prosecutor Hough said "His (State Policeman) actions were provoking a fight, he used foul language and the Sheriff (Gary Rose) had to step in and break up the situation," relating to an incident in a local magistrate court.

Numerous officials and Gilmer residents commented on police problems in their county, but said they lived in fear of retaliation. "When certain officers get in that uniform, they have a 'get out of my way' attitude, becoming arrogant and brutal," said a Gilmer resident, who declined to be identified.

"I live in fear what might happen to me, and I'm sure other people do. I have asked the FBI for protection," he said. "As far as I know, their agency hasn't made them accountable for these problems."

Trooper Yanero is the subject of a million dollar brutality suit in Roane County, and was temporarily indicted by a Calhoun Grand Jury for battery on a Calhoun teen going to an FHA judging contest. While the State Police sustained those charges, the statue of limitations threw the criminal case out of court. In both high-profile cases, Yanero's cruiser video camera malfunctioned.

Yanero was selected by the agency as "Trooper of the Year" in 2001.


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