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Richwood mayor arrested

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.

In November, city officials questioned why McClung fired then-Police Chief Shane Boggs. McClung cited personnel reasons and would not comment further on Boggs' firing.

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

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

When Boggs went to work one morning, McClung pulled him into his office and fired him, the official said, 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 State Police said McClung's arrest stems from a larger investigation and that more charges might be filed.

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


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