CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Former Clay County Sheriff Miles “Mike” Slack was sentenced Thursday to spend the next two years on probation after illegally copying keystrokes on his then-wife’s computer.

Slack could have been sent to federal prison for up to five years by U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver but the judge opted for probation and a $1,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said after Slack’s September guilty plea that Slack wanted to monitor the chat room sessions and emails sent by his now ex-wife Lisa Slack. He also wanted her various passwords.

“It was information of a personal nature that his wife was communicating and he had installed this keystroke logger to find that information but as a result he captured even more information,” Goodwin said.

Lisa Slack’s job is at Clay County Magistrate Court so the logger picked up court information too. Goodwin said fortunately that information didn’t fall into the wrong hands.

“We don’t believe there was any data compromised. It was all limited to this storage device that was there installed on the computer,” he said.

Sheriff Slack placed the logger on the computer in April and it stayed there for about two weeks. He was remorseful at his September plea hearing.

Slack was Clay County chief deputy for approximately 16 years. He was elected sheriff in Nov. 2012 after soundly defeating two other Democrats in the May 2012 Primary Election. Slack got 78 percent of the vote.  He had to resign his office as part of the plea bargain with federal prosecutors.


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  • P1

    When they are done wasting their time and efforts in Clay County, please send the FBI and Booth Goodwin on over to Pocahontas County.

    Our so called civic leaders and law enforcement officials make this Sheriff's felonies and misadventures look like a G-rated movie.

  • P1

    I wonder why we even bothered with this investigation and sentencing when it results in another obnoxiously loud and clear message to the people of wv; "DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO". There is clearly one set of rules for the "regular folks" and an entirely different set for the "power brokers" of OUR corrupt government.

    [Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby...He argued for jail time for Slack, saying in his sentencing memorandum that a sentence below the maximum range for the offense wouldn't reflect the seriousness of the crime and that a lenient sentence for a convicted sheriff would "UNDERMINE THE PUBLIC'S RESPECT FOR THE LAW."]

    Where's Rodney Dangerfield when you need him?

  • Jim G.

    Police officers should be held to a higher standard when they break the law and are convicted of a crime. Their sentences should be enhanced and they should not be given slaps on the wrist like probation.

  • The bookman

    The guy made a mistake...ever make one? Most people in public office are just regular people with regular problems...what good comes of putting a guy in prison for spying on his ex wife....really? Tax dollars poorly spent!

    • Aaron

      A mistake would have been hitting his wife during the hear of an argument or something of that nature. His actions here were not a mistake, they were conscience decisions to violate his oath of office and the trust of the people who voted for him.

      And for what, to catch a cheating wife. He should have received the harshest punishment available.

    • Jason412

      Im sure he has put a lot of people in prison for making a "mistake". He didnt spy on her at home, he used his official capacity as Sheriff to gain acccess to her court computer. Who knows how many peoples safety and security he risked by having court information stored on an unsecure device.

      There are laws for a reason, this guy was supposed to enforce them not violate them.

      • The bookman

        And he was tried, convicted , forced from office, and sentenced to probation...what solace do you receive by sending him to prison?

        • Jason412

          A lot of people are in prison for a lot less, and unlike this Sheriff they were not trusted to uphold and enforce the law.

          I would find solace in the fact that as a Sheriff who violated not only state but federal law, he not only lost his job but lost some of his freedom.

          Im sure a lot of criminals learned from their mistake before they were sent to prison and wouldnt commit the crime again. Does that mean they should all be on probation? Is losing your job and having a criminal conviction a just punishment for violating federal law as well as the trust of the community you were sworn to protect?

          • Jason412

            Also he violated a federal law, so he wouldnt of been in prison in Clay County or probably even WV.

            As a Sheriff violating federal law he obviously knew the risks of death or rape if caught and convicted.

            Im really shocked by your "more leniency for federal criminals" stance. What an outstanding example of how people like you and the standards you set have ruined this country for my generation

          • Jason412

            He didnt just spy on his ex-wife, he intercepted every part of her work in a COURT HOUSE. What if his unsecure information was hacked and a confidential informant was killed?

            If I were to "spy" on a woman I sure as hell wouldnt have to violate the federal wiretapping law to do it.

            To call violating a federal law, one Im absolutely sure he was aware of an "err in judgement" is ludicrous. Should we put all the meth cooks on probation because they made an "err in judgement"?

            Oh yes he has to waste 20 minutes a month at a probation office, oh lord how will he have time to sleep. What a tragic loss of freedom.

            For a Christian you sure can justify a lot of law breaking, Ive just never seen you do it for someone with no power.

          • The bookman

            And he has lost some of his freedom... He must report to a probation officer And fulfill the requirements of his probation or go to prison for the completion if his sentence... And might I remind you that this is in Clay County, a very small place for an elected official removed from office...send him to prison he could be killed or raped...all because he erred in judgement and spied on his ex wife! Sorry, but I am not convinced.

  • WV Patriot

    I'm joining the police force cause I can get GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD. why waste our tax money on this farce? Why wasn't part of his agreement to strip him of his right to be a police officer or ordered never to be able to run for office again. How come the Feds didn't prosecute?

    • P1

      the FEDS did- investigate, prosecute and sentence...

      ...and the backroom sweetheart deal was handed down by a U.S. Prosecutor and U.S. Judge in a Federal Courthouse.

  • Woodchuck

    It just shows it is all who you know. Sounds like another Mingo County to me!

  • GregG

    Probation? What a joke!