Mason sheriff faces removal effort in midst of criminal charges
Lawrence Smith Mar. 1, 2012, 1:46am
POINT PLEASANT – Before May's primary election, Mason County Sheriff David Anthony II's bid for re-election will have to successful run a gauntlet of legal and political trials next month.
The Mason County Commission on Feb. 13 filed a petition in Mason Circuit Court for Anthony's impeachment, and removal as sheriff. The petition cites four counts of malfeasance of office as ground for Anthony's removal that include nearly $2,500 in unauthorized expenditures last year in Florida, his arrest in November for discharging a handgun over the head of his 14-year-old son and applying for and receiving grant money without the Commission's knowledge or consent.
According to the petition, Anthony charged $2,435.68 to his Office's purchase card between Feb. 27 and April 13. Though he initially said the trip was related to "official county business involving a conference in Orlando," Anthony later admitted "the charges were personal in nature and not related to county business."
In late April, Anthony returned $1,400 to the county's general revenue fund, including $200 he took from his Office's cash drawer to cover meals for the Florida trip, as reimbursement. On Aug. 15, he agreed to have the remaining $1,435.38 deducted from his paycheck.
Almost three months later, Anthony was arrested, and charged by State Police on a charge of wanton endangerment. The arrest stemmed from an incident that occurred Nov. 5 at Anthony's home in Point Pleasant when he shot at his son after he ran outside the backdoor of their house and down the stairs of the attached deck.
According to the petition, the incident was witnessed by two uniformed deputies, Curtis Rhodes and Terry Powell. Both Rhodes and Powell told the State Police Anthony was drunk at the time.
In January, the Mason County grand jury returned a 42-count indictment against Anthony related to his misuse of the purchase card, and discharging the handgun at his son. Along with the original one for wanton endangerment, the charges included child neglect creating risk of injury, domestic assault, shooting near a dwelling, embezzlement and fraudulent scheme.
A trial date is scheduled for April 10.
A week later, Anthony will be on trail again to answer to the allegations in the Commission's petition. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Menis E. Ketchum on Feb. 15 appointed judges John Lewis Marks, Jr., Christopher C. Wilkes and David R. Janes from Marion, Berkeley and Harrison counties, respectively, to hear the case on April 18 and 19 in Point Pleasant.
Despite the indictment, and removal petition, Anthony, 42, is seeking re-election as sheriff. If acquitted in both trials, he still faces three opponents in the May 8 primary, and a Republican challenger in November.
Mason Circuit Court case numbers 12-F&M 2 (Anthony criminal) and 12-P-3 (Anthony removal)