SGT. ELLYSON DISMISSED FROM STATE POLICE - No Charges Filed, Law Enforcement Problems Loiter

By Bob Weaver

The former Grantsville detachment commander of the West Virginia State Police, Sgt. C. J. Ellyson has been dismissed from the agency, according to Office of Public Affairs Sergeant J. C. Powers.

Following an earlier Freedom of Information request, the State Police did confirm the officer was "under investigation," saying the nature of the investigation could not be released based on policy.

Lt. Col. S. C. Tucker said yesterday he could not comment on whether criminal charges will be brought, but indicated he expected Sgt. Ellyson to appeal his dismissal.

"He was discharged following an internal investigation," Tucker said.

The problems, according to unconfirmed sources, were allegedly related to stealing, while others said it was a matter of compounded problems.

Relating to the career officers retirement benefits, Tucker said "He is entitled to withdraw benefits" he has placed in a retirement account.

Troopers associated with Sgt. Ellyson were reportedly given lie detector tests by the agency.

Calhoun prosecuting attorney Matt Minney said no charges have been presented by the agency against the officer in Calhoun County.

Sgt. Ellyson, according to court records, created problems related to a meth lab case against Grantsville resident John Manis Richards by "throwing away" the physical evidence.

Sgt. Ellyson advised prosecutor Minney "Evidence in...the case has been destroyed."

Ellyson said that his predecessor Sgt. Darrin Campbell "declined to place it (evidence) in our evidence storage."

Sgt. Campbell, who was injured during a fall at the local barracks, has reportedly retired because of those injuries.

"The...evidence was received from the Grantsville Police Department without any custody receipt and the previous detachment commander (Sgt. Darrin Campbell) declined to place it (evidence) in our evidence storage," wrote Ellyson.

He said the items were placed in an unsecured storage area in the Grantsville barracks, which he cleaned-out following his arrival.

State Police would not confirm if his dismissal was associated with lost evidence in the Richards case.

Other situations related to Ellyson appeared in the Charleston newspapers, reporting he shot himself in the leg with a revolver, not his service weapon, and he was involved in a "road rage" incident with a Charleston motorist.

Ellyson was one of seven or eight detachment commanders assigned to Grantsville since 2000, a period of time where a multitude of problems surfaced related to the performance and professional conduct of local officers.

Ellyson has now been replaced by Sgt. J. E. Skidmore, a longtime officer with the Glenville Detachment.


Meanwhile, county law enforcement is languishing with an indictment against former Calhoun Chief Deputy Ron Bandy, who has been charged with seven or eight counts related to allegedly stealing from an elderly couples home.

The case seems to be spilling in many directions, with Special Prosecutor Jerry Hough wanting to drop the charges against Bandy, with Judge Thomas Evans III denying his request.

Evans has said the "public's interest must be served."

Hough, during an earlier hearing, told Judge Evans the Bandy case should be dropped because of problems with the case, indicating State Police Cpl. Doug Starcher had yet to provide transcripts of witness testimony, also saying there were problems with the chain of custody of evidence and that some of the evidence was sold.

Evans responded to Hough that those issues could be resolved.

Still, Hough seems to be pushing the case forward against Bandy's former girlfriend April McCroskey, who is essentially facing the same charges.

Hough, seemingly out of character for a prosecutor, indicated in court last week, there could be a problem with McCroskey over her intent to commit a crime, in that she returned items, although he said she had felonious motive.

He continued to blame the Hur Herald for creating problems, requesting a change of venue.

Judge Evans declined his request, telling Hough it was the defense's prerogative to ask for a venue change.

Meanwhile, numerous other problems are lingering, including the re-trial of the Ronnie Rush murder case after State Police botched the investigation.

Also pending is the trial of former Grantsville Police Chief Ron Gordon for sexual assault and a reported investigation of Grantsville's former volunteer police officer Shane Dellinger, who allegedly delivered a concealed weapons case without proper credentials and apparently failing to return fees.