Gov. Joe Manchin’s Dept. of Administration, Division of Highways Subpoenaed in Federal Probe
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The office of Gov. Joe Manchin admitted late Friday that federal investigators had subpoenaed two state government agencies this week.
The Charleston Gazette reported that the Department of Administration and the Division of Highways were subpoenaed earlier this week in regards to a federal grand jury investigation. Reporter Alison Knezevich has more details:
Charleston lawyer and former special prosecutor Dwane Tinsley has been appointed as a special assistant attorney general representing the two agencies.
Tinsley says both Administration and Highways were subpoenaed for documents, and that he became involved in the case yesterday (Thursday). He says no individuals were subpoenaed, only the agencies.
He did not elaborate on what kind of documents the feds are seeking.
“We’re in the process of trying to get those documents together,” Tinsley said, “and that’s all I know.”
West Virginia Watchdog was the first to report about the Governor’s office receiving the subpoenas. Manchin Spokesperson Melvin Smith originally stated Friday morning that federal investigators had only “requested” documents and information from state officials. Later Friday afternoon he emailed an updated statement that the State of West Virginia was given two subpoenas, though none of the subpoenas were directed at Gov. Joe Manchin or Manchin officials.
“The State of West Virginia was served this week with two federal subpoenas.
“Neither subpoena was directed to Governor Manchin or the Governor’s Office. No individual in the Governor’s Office was served with a subpoena.
“The Governor has directed State officials to fully cooperate and comply expeditiously.
“Governor Manchin wants to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as possible.
“The State has not been informed that Governor Manchin or any other state employee is under investigation.”
A source alerted West Virginia Watchdog Wednesday that subpoenas had been delivered to Gov. Manchin’s office. Though the source was ultimately wrong about the purpose of the subpoenas, the Governor’s office and other media outlets confirmed that subpoenas had been issued.
Neither the U.S. Attorney’s Office or the U.S. Courthouse in Charleston could confirm or deny an investigation into Gov. Manchin’s office, the Department of Administration, or the Division of Corrections. The scope of the subpoenas remains unclear.
Manchin is in his last term after being reelected in 2008. Three weeks ago he filed as a Democratic candidate for the unexpired term of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, along with House of Delegate candidate Sheirl Fletcher and former Congressman and Secretary of State Ken Hechler. Former Manchin Legal Counsel Carte Goodwin was appointed last month as Senator until the November special election decides who fills in for the two years left on Byrd’s term.
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Updated – Gov. Joe Manchin’s Dept. of Administration, Division of Highways Subpoenaed in Federal Probe
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