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Berkeley magistrate arraigned

March 29, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - Berkeley County Magistrate Kristy Dyroff, who is charged with asking her assistant to forge a subpoena and then lying about it under oath, was arraigned on five counts Monday morning and released on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.

Dyroff, 42, of Martinsburg, was arraigned by Jefferson County Magistrate Gail Boober on a felony count of accessory before the fact of forgery of a public record, and misdemeanor counts of false swearing, accessory before the fact of destruction of a public record, fraudulent official process and intimidation or harassment of a witness.

To accommodate Boober, Dyroff was arraigned at 8 a.m. in Jefferson County Magistrate Court, according to Dyroff's attorney, Harley O. Wagner.

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Court records indicate that Dyroff waived her right to have a preliminary hearing on the felony charge within 20 days. No hearing date had been set.

After the arraignment, Boober and Dyroff's husband, West Virginia State Police Trooper Rich Dyroff, went to Dyroff's Berkeley County office to remove her personal belongings, Wagner said.

Former Magistrate Ruth Donaldson has been appointed to oversee Dyroff's cases. Donaldson - who on Monday was on the bench presiding over hearings - said she was given a 60-day order on Friday, and started working Monday.

Included in court records is a four-page criminal complaint prepared by Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Lt. K.C. Bohrer, who investigated the case.

According to the complaint, an investigation began after Cpl. Brendan Hall, also with the sheriff's department, attended a court hearing on Monday, March 21, dealing with Dyroff's ex-husband.

David Greer, 43, of Martinsburg, was charged nearly a year ago with domestic battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Court records allege that he tried to forcefully pull his daughter from a car and earlier provided alcohol to her and her friends.

During a court hearing on those charges, Hall heard testimony that led him to believe "a crime had been committed" by Dyroff, records state.

Son's subpoena


Questions started surfacing when Wesley Greer - Dyroff and David Greer's son - showed up at the March 21 hearing with a subpoena.

Although the subpoena indicated it was issued by a Morgan County, W.Va., magistrate, the format is not the format used in Morgan County, records state.

Also, the signature was purported to be that of Doreen Peer, assistant to Morgan County Magistrate Kermit Ambrose. Peer looked at the signature and confirmed that it was not hers, records state.

Morgan County officials were appointed to handle the case after Berkeley County officials recused themselves.

When Dyroff was summoned to testify on Monday, March 21, she stopped Hall before taking the stand and told him that she had issued the subpoena and did not want to testify, records state.

However, Dyroff was sworn in and testified that she did not know where the subpoena came from, saying that she found it on her desk, took it home and served her son with it, records state.

After the court hearing, Dyroff told Hall that she asked her assistant, Mary Angelo, to sign Peer's name. She also said she told Angelo to destroy the return copy of the subpoena, records allege.

Angelo - who has not been charged - confirmed that she was asked to create the subpoena and sign Peer's name and said Dyroff told her that she would contact Peer about it, records allege.

"Ms. Angelo told Sgt. (Russell) Shackelford and I she felt she had done nothing wrong and did not wish to get Magistrate Dyroff in trouble. She felt she was doing what she was asked by her boss and her boss had told her," Bohrer wrote in his criminal complaint.

Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely declined to say why Dyroff created the subpoena.

Last Thursday the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals issued an order removing Dyroff from her duties while the case against her is pending. On the same day Dyroff requested an indefinite, voluntary leave of absence.

Conviction on a felony charge of accessory before the fact of forgery of a public record carries a sentence of two to 10 years in prison.

Each of the misdemeanor charges carries a sentence of up to one year in jail, upon conviction.

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