(02/25/2012)
Clay County Sheriff Randy Holcomb has stirred a controversy in his county after sending a letter to officials, essentially discontinuing law enforcement to the county, but says he will do his "constitutional duties."

Clay County commissioners tried this week to resolve the sheriff's dispute between the WV State Police and the Clay prosecutor.

Commissioners say the sheriff is obligated to enforce all laws, but county commissions have little authority over elected officials, except to control their budget.

The sheriff's stance hasn't set well with county residents.

Holcomb, whose term ends this year, complained about a lack of equipment to process a DUI since the State Police moved the Intoximeter from Clay to their detachment location 17 miles away in Big Otter.

The commission says the State Police had agreed to provide a Intoximeter to keep in Clay to process DUI suspects.

Commissioners say this would allow deputies to process DUI suspects in town where there are holding cells, better communication and more manpower.

"We do not agree with the way he's gone about this. We think he's over reacted," said commission President Jerry Likinogger. "The way he's done it is caused our citizens to be concerned, and rightfully so."

The sheriff also attacked the Clay prosecutor, saying he's dismissed a large number of cases.

The prosecutor says he wants to see the proof through evidence, statistics and facts to back up the accusation.

State Police have added an additional trooper to the five who already work the Clay area to pick up the slack.

The moving of the barracks from central Clay to the edge of Calhoun on I-79 has increased the State Police's response time to much of the county.

See related story CLAY SHERIFF REFUSING TO ANSWER 'ROUTINE' OR DUI CALLS - Holcomb Continues Contentious History


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