Ethics Commission Could Resolve Charges Against Former Wood Co. Sheriff

By
WOUB Staff Writer
Bethany Venable

Dateline
Updated Tue, Jul 24, 2012 8:25 am

The West Virginia Ethics Commission could decide whether to approve a deal with a former Wood County Sheriff at its next meeting.

Ken Merritt, who is running for the office again in the November election, faced charges of ethics violations related to a criminal case involving his son in June of 2006.
 
Merritt, while sheriff, was accused of getting involved when Brian Merritt was accused of using gasoline credit cards issued to Wood County employees for his own use.
 
The Ethics Commission Statement of Charges from 2009 against Merritt says that Merritt allowed the unauthorized charges to process at the County's expense after finding out his son had the cards.
 
The Statement also says that Merritt did not pursue an investigation or charges after his son allegedly stole BP and Exxon gas cards.  
 
The document indicates that Merritt paid back unauthorized charges on both cards only after an investigation had been started by the Parkersburg Police Department and members of the sheriff's office became aware of the missing cards.
 
Merritt's lawyer says a deal is being worked out which would resolve the ethics charges Merritt still faces.
 
A two-day hearing of those charges was slated to start Monday but was cancelled.
 
The next meeting for the ethics commission is August 2.
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