Last updated: July 17. 2013 6:04PM - 463 Views
RON GREGORY, ronjgregory@gmail.com

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HAMLIN -- The Lincoln County commission has empowered its president to suspend employees "to protect the integrity of the on-going investigation."
The action came on a unanimous vote at the Thursday, April 4, meeting of the commission in Hamlin.
Commissioners Charles McCann and K.K. Matthews joined with President Charles Vance in supporting the motion.
According to reliable courthouse sources, the primary object of the motion is longtime County Administrator Judy Johnson. Johnson was not present for the April 4 commission session although a packed house greeted the commissioners.
As they have done in several past meetings, the commission voted to go into executive session. At their previous meeting, Matthews had moved to discharge Johnson following the executive session that evening.
This time, no names were mentioned from the bench as the commissioners gave Vance the authority to suspend or discharge any employee to protect the on-going investigation into alleged problems with time sheets and other personnel documents.
Earlier, Matthews has told media sources that he has turned some county records over to law enforcement personnel to look into these questions.
It is believed the South Charleston state police detachment is conducting the "on-going investigation" referred to in the motion.
Although no employee(s) were named at Thursday's meeting, this newspaper confirmed that Johnson is expected to be soon.
The suspension will come with pay, as a question from McCann asked for confirmation of that fact Thursday evening.
Lincoln County Commission President Charles Vance has confirmed that W.Va. State Police are investigating one of its employees for possible violation of sick, comp and vacation time.
Lincoln County has a widespread reputation for political corruption. Three elected officials have gone to prison in recent months as the result of a 2010 absentee ballot conspiracy.

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