(10/25/2019)
10-24-2019 - Federal indictments have been dismissed against magistrates from Gilmer and Lewis counties, with one magistrate resigning as part of a deferred prosecution agreement.

A federal judge approved a motion to dismiss the indictments, while also denying a motion to continue and rejecting the proposed deferred prosecution agreements.

In rejecting the agreements for Lewis County Magistrate Roger D. Clem Jr. and Gilmer County Magistrate Alton L. Skinner II, Judge Thomas S. Kleeh stated “… where the Government asks the Court to defer the prosecution of an Indictment returned by a grand jury, without any proposed compliance monitoring or oversight of Defendants by an agency or administrative body capable of enforcing meaningful sanctions, the integrity of the Court is implicated.”

In a separate order, Kleeh granted the motion to dismiss the indictments against Clem and Skinner. In that order, Kleeh acknowledged that “Unlike the Government’s prior motion to continue…the Court need not consider the substance of the non-prosecution agreements or weigh any Speedy Trial Act issue. The Government has elected to dismiss the Indictment as to both Defendants pursuant to non-prosecution agreements as is within its discretion.”

Clem and Skinner were accused of working to arrange bond for detainees with a bonding company operated by Skinner’s spouse, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. They faced charges involving wire fraud, mail fraud and obstruction.

A press release from the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia states that Skinner is resigning, effective at the end of the day on October 25. It states that “Magistrate Skinner’s resignation letter said his resignation was pursuant to an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

Senior Status Magistrate Teresa Robinson is serving in Skinner’s place temporarily.

Chief Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Judge Richard A. Facemire will appoint a permanent replacement for Skinner in the near future, according to the release.

NON-PROSECUTION AGREEMENT REACHED GILMER-LEWIS MAGISTRATES

10/24/2019 - U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Kleeh approved a non-prosecution agreement in the case of two North Central West Virginia magistrates indicted on federal charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

Under the terms of the agreement Lewis County Magistrate Roger D. Clem Jr., 47, of Weston, and Gilmer County Magistrate Alton L. Skinner II, 58, of Sand Fork, will not see jail time, but must resign from office, agree not to seek public office again and must each pay a $1,000 fine.

According to the order granting motion to dismiss the indictment, the court made its decision pursuant to Rule 48 (a), which states the motion should be decided "by determining whether the prosecutor acted in good faith at the time he moved for dismissal. A motion that is not motivated by bad faith is not clearly contrary to manifest public interest, and it must be granted."

Clarksburg attorney Tom Dyer, who represented Skinner, said his client is "elated" as a result of the agreement.

"He is quite happy with the outcome and considers it to be very fair under the circumstances," he said.

The finalized agreement comes just weeks after Kleeh rejected deferred prosecution agreements to resolve the case, because of the unique nature of the case.

In the case investigated by Jeff Shriner, agent for the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations, and the IRS, Clem and Skinner were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice.

Skinner was also charged with one count of false statement to a federal agent.

The charges involved E-Z Out LLC, based in Sand Fork, which is an authorized bonding company in Lewis County, the government alleged.


Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
The information on these pages, to the extent the law allows, remains the exclusive property of Bob and Dianne Weaver and The Hur Herald. information cannot be used in any type of commercial endeavor, or used on a web site without the express permission of the owner. Hur Herald published printed editions 1996-1999, Online Hur Herald Publishing, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021