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Commissioners confused over status of investigation

May 04, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - The Jefferson County Commissioners discussed Thursday whether an investigation is being conducted into allegations that one of the commissioners acted in a threatening manner toward a county department head.

Bill Polk, the director of maintenance for Jefferson County government, appeared before the commissioners April 5 and told them one of the commissioners "got within inches" of his face and shook a finger at him while the two were talking about pay raises and other issues.

Polk would not identify the commissioner but the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department released a report saying Polk told police that Jim Surkamp became "verbally aggressive" with Polk in a parking lot behind the sheriff's department on Washington Street.

Surkamp is one of five county commissioners.

Commission President Frances Morgan told Polk Thursday that she wanted to make sure Polk understands that the commission has not investigated his allegation.

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Just because Polk outlined the allegations does not mean there is "proof of anything," Morgan said.

Commissioner Greg Corliss objected and said he thought that Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober said recently that an investigation was ongoing.

"Well if that's the case, I stand corrected," Morgan said.

"I don't see any reason to further discuss this," Corliss said.

Boober could not be reached for comment.

Surkamp on Thursday reiterated his previous comments that Polk's description of what occurred bordered on slander.

"I'll address that. That's all I have to say," said Polk, who then walked out of the room.

According to the sheriff's department report on the April 5 incident, Polk said Surkamp was yelling at him and using obscenities.

Surkamp then calmed down and said he was sorry, the report said.

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