BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — U.S. Attorney Bill Ihlenfeld is not ruling out additional charges in connection with an investigation focused on the equipment division for the West Virginia Division of Highways.
“This is one of those cases where, every time you think you’ve seen everything and you’re ready to prepare that final report, something else comes up,” said Ihlenfeld.
Last week, a DOH supervisor was indicted on a charge of lying to an FBI agent about the use of division resources. Barry Thompson, 48, of Mount Clare, was subsequently arrested while he was at work at the highway department office in Buckhannon.
The Buckhannon site is the headquarters for the DOH’s equipment division, which handles purchases of equipment used across West Virginia. About 90 people work there.
Thompson allegedly lied to an FBI agent who was investigating allegations related to, what Ihlenfeld called, “improper use of resources by the DOH’s equipment division.”
If convicted of making a false statement to a federal agent, Thompson could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined up to $250,000.
But, Ihlenfeld said, the investigation has grown beyond just one supervisor.
“When you open a matter for one particular reason and begin looking at an agency, for example, sometimes it leads you down different paths, several different paths,” he said. “That’s what’s happened in this particular case.”
Ihlenfeld, the U.S. Attorney for West Virginia’s Northern District, would not provide any additional details.