CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Nicholas County mayor was arrested Wednesday after the West Virginia Ethics Commission alleged that he took money from a city account.
Richwood Mayor John D. McClung, 65, was charged with fraudulent schemes and obtaining money by false pretenses following a three-month investigation by the Ethics Commission, according to a news release issued by the West Virginia State Police.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Nicholas County Magistrate Court, McClung received a $2,500 check from Dalton Logistics Inc., on July 20, 2010, on behalf of a needy family. McClung deposited the check into the city's "Rails to Trails" account, a program that establishes biking and walking paths around Nicholas County, the criminal complaint states, adding that he then contacted the wife in the family, Teresa McCarley, and gave her a $2,500 check from the "Rails to Trails" account.
He told her to cash the check and bring him back the money and, in return, he would pay her overdue water bill, the criminal complaint states.
McCarley reportedly cashed the check and gave McClung the money. He then paid her water bill, the criminal complaint states. She reportedly told the Ethics Commission she did not receive any money back from the transaction, as intended.
State Police troopers said they were unable to locate the remainder of the money and that it has not been returned to the city's accounts.
McClung was arraigned in Magistrate Court and released on a $5,000 personal-recognizance bond Wednesday night.
He declined to give a statement Thursday. He was elected mayor in 2008, according to the city's website.