Updated: Hennen Found Not Guilty

Updated 09/29/2010 4:37pm

Wirt County Assessor Debbie Hennen has been found not guilty of charges she falsely filled out a time sheet for an employee of her office.

After a day of testimony...mostly involving employees of the Wirt County Assessor's office...Judge Robert Waters determined Hennen's conduct might have been wrong...but not criminal.

It all involved time sheets filled out for several of her employees...notably Field Deputy Jason Reeder...who said he worked two days in July of 2009.

Another employee said Hennen often filled out time sheets for her workers...and occasionally made up the dates of her staff's working days and hours.

But a Deputy West Virginia Labor Commissioner said it's the terms of employment in a worker's agreement with his employer which determines his pay.

Jason Reeder was hired as a part-time salaried, rather than hourly, field deputy...and Judge Waters said there was no evidence either he or hennen profited from her actions.

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Updated: 09/29/2010 3:19pm

Wirt County Assessor Debbie Hennen has been found not guilty of the charge of fraudulently filling out a false document.

Judge Robert Waters issued the ruling at the end of closing arguments Wednesday afternoon in a Wirt County courtroom.

WTAP's Todd Baucher was in the courtroom and will have a full report coming up on WTAP @ 5 and WTAP News @ 6.

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A trial for Wirt County Assessor Debbie Hennen is scheduled for the end of this month in circuit court.

But first, a judge must rule on a request by Hennen's attorney to drop the charges against her.

Roane County Prosecutor Joshua Downey took on the case late last year...when charges were first filed against Hennen.

Rusen says a separate order appointing Downey should have been entered...when her case was appealed to circuit court.

"It's our position that case law requests that these orders of appointment have to be narrowly chosen, have to refer to particular cases," Rusen said in court Tuesday, "and that simply has not happened here."

That appeal came when Hennen was found guilty in February...and fined $100...for altering a public record.

A separate charge of intimidating a witness was dismissed.

Judge Robert Waters said a ruling on Rusen's motion would be made...before the scheduled trial.


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