There appears to be something rotten in the county of Wirt.
Last October, WTAP News got an anonymous tip that the principal at Wirt County Middle School, J.D. Hoover, was in trouble for bringing weapons onto school property.
We researched it and ran the story, even though details were few.
We make no apologies for running the story. It was accurate. Truthful. And involved a potentially serious offense by a high-ranking school official.
Simply stated, it was news.
Now the charges against Mr. Hoover have been dropped. Hoover's attorney, George Cosenza, told WTAP news it was because the gun or guns were unloaded and secured in the trunk of Mr. Hoover's vehicle, while the ammunition was secured in the glove compartment of the vehicle.
Cosenza says that makes Mr. Hoover's actions not violations of the law. Judge Robert Waters agreed.
If that's the case, why did Wirt County prosecutor, Leslie Maze, file charges in the first place? Is she incapable of reading state law and determining what is and what is not a violation of the law?
And once the problem was discovered, why did the case drag on for five months before reaching this week's resolution?
Were the charges dropped pending the filing of other, more accurate charges, or it this the end of the case?
We're hearing the county may appeal the charge-dismissal to the state Supreme Court.
We've contacted the Wirt County prosecutor but gotten no response.
How did it become known that Mr. Hoover even had the weapons in his vehicle in the first place?
Did he share the information with an associate as part of his honest nature, and that associate turned him in for what Cosenza says was a non-offense?
Might that person have been the one who tipped off WTAP in the first place?
And perhaps the most puzzling question of all....
One of the weapons found in Mr. Hoover's vehicle was used by a Wirt County man, when he allegedly shot his future son-in-law in the face while hunting a week or so earlier.
The name of that man has never been released and no charges have been filed in the wounding of 18-year-old Christopher Giffin.
When Vice President Dick Cheney wounded a campaign contributor while hunting in Texas a couple of years ago, he was not charged. Yet the fact that Mr. Cheney was the shooter was released to the public.
Why hasn't the name of the shooter in this case been released? Is he more high-ranking than the Vice President of the United States? I think not.
If there are reasonable explanations for all of this and why Mr. Hoover was charged in the first place, causing his reputation to be questioned publicly over the past five months, the prosecutor needs to come forward and explain.