United States Attorney Redoubles Efforts to Combat Public Corruption
United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced on Thursday, April 19, 2012, that he will be taking a new, more aggressive approach to the investigation of public corruption in West Virginia and he is encouraging citizens to join the fight.
Officials from the West Virginia State Police, the F.B.I., and the I.R.S. stood with Ihlenfeld as he announced a major push by his office to identify, investigate, and prosecute matters of public corruption occurring throughout West Virginia.
Because these cases are often started by concerned citizens with anonymous tips a new hotline and email address have been created for the public to submit leads to the U.S. Attorney’s Office by telephone or via the internet.
Tips can now be submitted by calling toll-free to:
or by sending an email to”
Ihlenfeld recently completed a significant restructuring of the criminal division in his office in order to form a public corruption unit to handle the cases that will now be the top criminal priority in the district.
“Corruption by our elected and appointed officials undermines the public trust and causes our citizens to lose faith in their government. A breach of trust by a local, state or federal official has no place in public service, and so we are redoubling our efforts to bring to justice those who engage in this type of activity,” said Ihlenfeld.
Captain James Merrill and Captain Donnie Howell of the West Virginia State Police, Senior Supervisory Agent John Hambrick of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Special Agent Andrew T. Hromoko, Jr. of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations joined Ihlenfeld as he laid out other steps that have been taken to implement his plan.
Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr, who has been selected by Ihlenfeld to lead the new unit, also participated in the announcement.
Ihlenfeld and Parr recently met with the State Police, the F.B.I. and the I.R.S., as well as Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Theresa Kirk, Director of the West Virginia Ethics Commission, and agents with the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations to arrange partnerships and to discuss the sharing of information and resources.
It is anticipated that the new public corruption unit will spend the majority of its time on cases involving government officials who use their office for personal gain. It is a violation of federal law for any federal, state, or local government official to ask for or receive anything of value in exchange for, or because of, any official act.
Under federal law, any person who offers or pays a bribe is also guilty. In addition to bribes and kickbacks, other types of corruption that are commonly seen include extortion, embezzlement, racketeering, money laundering, as well as wire, mail, bank, and tax fraud.
Misuse of federal grant monies and public education funds are also expected to keep the new unit busy.
According to Ihlenfeld, sophisticated tools and methods will be used to investigate these cases, including electronic surveillance, confidential sources, and undercover agents.
“Fortunately most of our officials are honest and hard-working and have the public’s best interests in mind. But there’s a long history of corruption in our state, and there are always a handful of people who are in it to help themselves or their friends and families, and we are prepared to hold them accountable,” said Ihlenfeld.
Ihlenfeld says that the hotline will play a critical role in this new program.
“We have many great partners in this initiative but the most valuable partner will be the public. Every tip we receive will be reviewed and given the attention that it deserves. Because of the secretive nature of bribes and kickbacks they are often difficult to detect without the help of concerned citizens, and that’s why we have created the new hotline and email address,” said Ihlenfeld.
This new information can ONLY be the result of answered prayer. Let’s hope they MEAN what they say, and let’s hope they start in Gilmer County!!
Comment by Is Justice finally REAL?? on 04.20.2012
Lets hope these people are on the level, and this is not some kind of political ploy. If this is legit, then this could be our answer to our prayers.
I informed this new program of criminal complaints made to the US Attorney on crimes committed by Gerald B Hough prosecutor, in which one criminal complaint went to special litigation’s where it has languished for more than 18 months, and also the involvement of Beverly Marks and Jean Butcher hiding a deed on the orders of Tim Butcher which led to the wrongful death of the sister of AJ Woofter.
They, as public officials ignored a court order to sell the “Missing one sixth,“ and pulled the DEED from the land books, which is a highly illegal act. Then, after the death, distributed the money illegally to Rosabelle Gainer and her son JACK who had NO RIGHT to the property. Can this be proven? YES! It has been by the evidence published on the Gilmer Free Press.
Comment by Concerned Citizens of Gilmer County on 04.20.2012
This article on GFP today was also on the news on TV and on the front page of The Clarksburg Telegram today. This may be a answer to our prayers citizens of Gilmer County. Call or e-mail the number or address. IF…...you do not make the move and report the corruption to them you have no reason to complain. Make that call. I DID. It is anonymous with NO information of identity at all.
Comment by JUST DO IT on 04.20.2012
If you want an idea of Gilmer County corruption Google West Virginia School Building Authority and click onto current agenda to see what Ron Blankenship submitted with use of Nasia Butcher’s CEFP committee recommendations. Among other questions why is Williamson and Shriver listed as architects? Did they get work they did through competitive bids and does the firm have an in with the SBA? If that is not bad enough it is understood that members of our elected school board, and certainly Gilmer County citizens, were not permitted to review and to comment on the material before it went to the SBA. This is State sponsored secrecy at its worst.
Click to see http://bit.ly/JeXATL
Comment by E. Jones on 04.20.2012
On the front page of the Clarksburg Exponent Telegram was the very article that was on GFP pertaining to the U.S. Attorney’s office making it easy to report public corruption in schools, public office holders and anyone else who is involved in the corruption. This article states that it is often brought to officials attention by ANONYMOUS comments from citizens trying to
stop corruption. ANONYMOUSLY??? REALLY??? Imagine that.
Wow, that sure should open the eyes of our Prosecuting Attorney and our Judges that have been trying to shut GFP down because of anonymous comments we make and is published daily to get the word out. They think it is not legal. Wonder where they got their diplomas and degrees? Hey guys, read the article, it says the U.S. Attorneys office will accept anonymous calls and
information. Maybe you will want to try to close them down too. Now we have another source so we can use GFP to get the word out to our people in the county, then report it to the U.S. Attorney’s office to get it out state and nationally. SWEET.
Comment by REALLY SWEET on 04.21.2012
People of Gilmer County call the toll free # and report ANY AND ALL corruption that is going on in Gilmer County. You can remain anonymous and call, or you can e-mail. Remember, the Prosecutor of Gilmer and other high ups thinks it is illegal to post things anonymously and threatened shutdown of the GFP. Well…..now we have proof it is not illegal, in fact the Attorney’s office is encouraging this because they are wanting to find out what our complaints of corruption are. What do you say now Gerry?
We now have two sources to direct our comments ANONYMOUSLY to. The GFP, where they will get the information out to us County citizens and to the U.S. Attorney’s office where they will get the comments and do an investigation of our complaints out all over the State and nationally.
SWEET. Gilmer people excerise your right and your freedom and call the numbers and tell them of all the corrupt and criminals things going on here.
There are many for sure. Lets get involved and clean up Gilmer County political correctness and corruption. The more calls they get the more convinced they will be of what our life in Gilmer County has become in the past several years.
Comment by Getting Sweeter on 04.21.2012
- - How about the unsolved death of Fred Hill?
- - Did Doug Morris get “time” for an accident and five drugs in his system?
- - Did Doug Cottrill get off scot free from his drug charge in Lewisburg?
- - How many rapes at GSC that have not been prosecuted?
.......and this is just a few of the more recent deals.
Comment by Anonymous by Necessity on 04.21.2012
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