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WVA State Police Chief Out, Gov Orders Probe Of Wrongdoing

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Monday ordered a sweeping investigation of the State Police after he accepted the resignation of the agency's superintendent and revealed allegations of wrongdoing, including that a video camera was placed inside a women's locker room, the Associated Press reports. The governor said the investigation will look into an unspecified "loss of life" on Interstate 81 in the Eastern Panhandle. The incident appears to be one from February in which a Hagerstown, Md., man died after a confrontation with a trooper. Justice appointed Jack Chambers, the deputy director of the Capitol police, as interim superintendent to replace Superintendent Jan Cahill, who had served under Justice since the governor took office in 2017. Justice said Chambers will conduct "an all-out investigation" to replace one that started last month under Cahill and was nearing its completion.

Justice did not provide details of the I-81 incident,. The governor said he has seen video of what happened and it is "very, very concerning." An investigation is ongoing, "and Jack Chambers has to get into this as well," Justice said. The incident appears to be one in which a trooper responded to a report of a person walking south on the highway. The trooper found Edmond Exline, 44, and a brief struggle occurred. Exline became unresponsive and troopers were unsuccessful in reviving him at the scene. State police initially said they were checking on an intoxicated male walking on the interstate. Exline's sister-in-law, Sarah Exline, said she found it hard to believe her brother-in-law had been drinking. She said Edmond suffered from mental health issues and he was afraid of consuming anything like alcoho. One focus of the investigation will be an allegation that a State Police employee hid a video camera in the women's locker room at a State Police facility in Kanawha County.


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