|The Calhoun Commission will be making a payment of $51,028.59 for the wrongful prosecution by the WV State Police and former Calhoun County prosecutor Matt Minney of a former Calhoun deputy sheriff.|
Commissioners expressed regret having to use cash-strapped taxpayer funds for the legal bill, since the county's insurance carrier denied the claim.
The commission is re-submitting the claim to the county's insurance carrier, although they previously denied it.
The circuit court had issued judgment for Ronald Gene Bandy's legal fees following the reversal of a multi-count criminal indictment. Bandy was represented by his brother-in-law John Teare, Jr.
The case alleged Bandy stole from an elderly Big Springs couples house, after the couples property had been placed under the conservatory care of the Calhoun County Sheriff.
Judge Thomas Evans III dropped the charges in 2007, one count of grand larceny, three counts of burglary, three counts of conspiracy, all felonies, and one misdemeanor count for destruction of property.
"The prosecuting attorney's case is built on conjecture and suspicion, not evidence," Evans said, although "The State Police did an excellent job investigating the matter."
Evans said he had problems with some of the testimony, citing the accessing of a (the couples) safe deposit box at the Calhoun Bank by Bandy's former girlfriend DHHR employee April McCroskey, saying it "raised suspicion," but "suspicion is not proof."
Special prosecutor Jerry Hough said,
"The defendant (Bandy) brought the property (guns) to the sheriff and he declined to accept it."
Prosecutor Matt Minney had brought earlier charges against Bandy, holding him in contempt of court, after which he resigned.
Bandy had failed to appear in court in a timely manner in criminal cases, according to Minney and was late for his own hearing before Judge David Nibert regarding the matter.
Bandy was off-duty when he was involved in a 2004 brawl beside a bar at Big Otter, which sent him to the hospital and individuals being arrested for beating or running over him. Bandy, before the incident, reported he had been in the bar selling decorative mirrors.
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