Commission steps into assault investigation

September 05, 1997

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Commissioners voted 3-2 Thursday to send a letter to Sheriff William Senseney after a resident complained about his assault not being investigated.

Robert Dudash Jr. said he wanted to file assault charges in a domestic dispute and the deputy who took the information has never obtained a warrant.

The sheriff said the deputy has been on military leave and then vacation. He was to report back to duty Friday.

The sheriff's department also has up to one year to file charges in assault cases.

Dudash said the deputy, whom he did not name during the public meeting, never told him he was going away.

County Commissioner James Ruland made a motion that a letter be sent to the sheriff asking him to look into the matter.


Ruland, Edgar Ridgeway and Dean Hockensmith voted for the letter to be sent.

County Commissioner R. Gregory Lance and Commissioner President James Knode said the county commissioners do not have authority over the sheriff's department other than on budgetary items.

"We've got to be careful here. We're not law enforcement officers," Lance said.

"We want our officers to do what's right for the people. We're not saying which way it should go," Ridgeway said.

- Clyde Ford

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