Regional Jail Director Looking For Answers

The executive director of the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority says he’s looking outside the agency for help finding weaknesses in the system.

Joe DeLong updated members of a Legislative committee on Monday during interim meetings.

Last month a corrections officer at the Southern Regional Jail in Raleigh County was arrested and charged with four counts of imposition of sexual acts on a person under supervision. William Roy Wilson II, 39, is accused of exchanging cigarettes for sexual favors from three female inmates at the Beaver facility.

DeLong says it wasn’t until this incident came up that he learned of Wilson’s history with the regional jail authority.

"That officer had had several pending sexual harassment claims and/or lawsuits dating back, I believe, to 2008,” the director told the committee.

DeLong says an investigation into a completely different matter uncovered Wilson’s alleged activity.

"We sent our investigators in to investigate the complaint [in the kitchen] and found no basis for some of the things in the complaint. We found enough basis implicating other improper acts and called in the State Police," DeLong said.

The executive director says the state Regional Jail Authority needs help to look over their policies and procedures, both past and present, to see if any inappropriate activity has been slipping through the cracks.

"I have requested through the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety that an outside, independent investigator be assigned to come in and look at the events that have lead up ultimately to that arrest,” he said.

DeLong says it could lead to other areas where the regional jail system has failed and action needs to be taken.

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