A slew of investigations have opened up against the West Virginia state police department after startling claims surfaced including alleged hidden cameras in women’s locker rooms, casino thefts, cover-ups, kidnappings, druggings and rape. The investigations were initiated after an anonymous five-page letter was sent to multiple state lawmakers, Gov. Jim Justice and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. The letter contained damning claims. Those claims triggered leadership changes across the department as well as sweeping investigations into the police department, the Guardian reports. The letter’s allegations ranged from misuse of state and federal dollars, office affairs, illegal overtime practices, drunken fights, hidden cameras and sexual assault.
One of the most disturbing claims involves at least one hidden camera that was placed in the women’s locker room at the West Virginia state police academy. Two retired West Virginia state police uniformed employees and a civilian, who regularly used the women’s locker room throughout their careers and after their retirements, intended to sue the state police after media reported on the alleged hidden camera. On June 16, attorney Teresa Toriseva said that she was representing 67 women all of whom will be “filing claims against the West Virginia State Police for creating a toxic and hostile environment.” Toriseva says that an investigation by her firm suggests that the camera could have been placed as early as 1998 and continued recording until 2018. Another claim that surfaced in recent months is the alleged money theft at a casino by an off-duty state police captain, according to another anonymous letter reported by WOWK-TV. The alleged incident, which was caught on surveillance camera in May 2021 at a casino in Cross Lanes, W. Va., revolves around a captain who has since retired after being confronted about the incident