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Richwood mayor fires police chief

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Richwood Mayor John McClung fired the city's chief of police Monday morning, but would not say why. A city official said it was because the chief investigated the mayor's use of a city-owned car.

McClung confirmed that he fired Police Chief Shane Boggs, citing personnel reasons.

He would not comment further on the matter.

However, the firing came after an investigation by Richwood police and the West Virginia State Police into McClung's use of the city's car, according to a city official who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.

The official said two complaints were filed over the weekend in which it was reported that an unknown man was seen driving the city's white Chevrolet Lumina. Boggs and state troopers allegedly investigated to determine if the car had been stolen.

Police found the man driving the car, who allegedly admitted that the mayor gave him permission to drive it. Police allegedly discovered that the man does not have a license.

Only McClung is authorized to use the car and the city pays for its gas and upkeep.

When Boggs went to work Monday morning, McClung pulled him into his office and fired him and then told City Council members that it was because Boggs "could not be trusted," the official said.

McClung fired Boggs to hinder the investigation into his use of the car, the official said.

"He thought getting rid of Shane would make the nightmare go away," the official said.

The State Police confirmed that it investigated the unknown man who'd been driving the city-issued car. Sgt. F.H. Barlow of the Marlinton detachment led the investigation.

He was not available for comment by press time Monday.

Most Richwood City Hall employees are upset because they like Boggs and thought he was a good chief, the city official said.

He was appointed chief of police in July 2010.

Before that, he served as a senior correctional officer and self-defense instructor for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, according to an online biography.

Boggs did not return requests for comment Monday.

Members of the Richwood Police held a meeting Monday to discuss the matter. Officer Kevin Cutlip has been placed in charge until a new chief can be appointed.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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