CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Charleston Police captain placed on administrative leave is accused of harassing at least two women at the Kanawha City Bob Evans restaurant, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
Capt. M.L. White, of the professional standards division, is accused of first harassing a manager at the restaurant, then a woman who frequented the restaurant, sources say.
The woman is the caretaker of an elderly man in town who liked the restaurant, and the two would eat together, according to sources.
She declined White's advances and allegedly caught him recording her license plate number outside of the restaurant, sources say.
The woman declined to discuss the situation on Friday. White did not return calls to his house.
A manager at the Bob Evans said employees were not allowed to speak to the media.
Police Chief Brent Webster declined to discuss details of the investigation because it is a personnel matter. But he did say that while an internal investigation was being conducted, there was no open criminal investigation into the matter.
"It's assigned to the professional standards division and we'll go through all the steps, take interviews, collect documentations, everything," he said. "Ultimately, the findings will come to me and I'll review those. If there are any sustained allegations, I'll make a recommendation to the review board for discipline, if needed. But we're not at that step yet."
Webster said it's routine to place officers on administrative leave while accusations against them are being investigated. Officers can be placed on administrative leave for a number of reasons. Officers are suspended only after they have been found guilty of wrongdoing, he said.
White's career in the Charleston Police Department started in August 1979. He is one of Charleston's four captains -- the highest civil service rank in the department -- but is not in a management role, Webster said.
Webster said that rank is set by civil-service rules, but the chief can put whomever he wants in command of the various divisions.
The investigation is being conducted by the professional standards division's two commanding officers, Webster has said.
Reach Gary Harki at gha...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.