2 West Virginia prosecutors accused of conduct violations

October 28, 2021 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Two West Virginia prosecutors are accused of conduct violations for their part in dismissing charges for monetary donations to a Christmas gift program, officials said.

The Investigative Panel of the West Virginia Lawyer Disciplinary Board accused Pleasants County Prosecuting Attorney Brian Carr and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Paul Marteney of violating Rules of Professional Conduct, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reported.

Under a program called Slow Down for the Holidays, police officers would dismiss minor traffic citations in exchange for donations of $50 gift cards or the equivalent of $50 in toys, officials said.

The panel says that instead of dismissing traffic infractions, Carr and Marteney allegedly dismissed dozens of state misdemeanor charges between 2018 and 2020 that included littering and driving under the influence. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel opened an investigation in January 2020 after questions arose about the program.

Carr responded by email Wednesday to the newspaper’s request for comment from the Pleasants County Prosecutor’s Office.

“I have been required to hire a lawyer to defend the charges made by the disciplinary board against me,” Carr said. “That is all I am permitted to say at this time.”