Clay County Sheriff Randy Holcomb is flexing his political muscle again, cutting police coverage to the county.|
Holcomb says his deputies will no longer work past 4:00 p.m. on weekdays, and will not work weekends.
He is reportedly angry over the Clay Commission cutting his budget which financed one deputy sheriff.
In February, Holcomb told county commissioners his department would no longer enforce traffic laws, investigate accidents, or make DUI arrests.
The sheriff claimed his decision was made because half of the arrests were being thrown out by a Clay County assistant prosecutor.
He was also upset that the WV State Police moved 17 miles away from the county seat, taking the county's only intoximeter with them.
Commissioners at the time said they were working on a plan to get an intoximeter at the sheriff's department, and the State Police reportedly loaned a meter to the sheriff.
Since then, the sheriff's department has been answering calls, until this decision.
Holcomb released a letter regarding the matter:
"The department needs the deputy position and the overtime monies associated with the same, to be reinstated.
A civil service test has been completed and I currently have two applicants that have qualified. I am in the process of conducting interviews and background checks and plan on hiring a deputy no later than the end of July.
The position is critical to the operation of the sheriff's office and providing service to the Citizens of Clay County. With the current deputies' annual and military leave some shifts will not be covered without this position being filled and some shifts may have to be completely eliminated.
I have always attempted to use every resource available to me and to efficiently operate this department. I have always been able to return unused monies to you in previous years. Without this funding it places a hardship on the current deputies and also to the Citizens of Clay County."
The County Commission denied his request.
The sheriff's department currently has four deputies, plus Sheriff Holcomb.
The State Police says they are working on scheduling to cover the problem.