The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

March 21, 2013

Mount Hope nonprofits clash over old high school

Criminal investigation by State Police ongoing


MOUNT HOPE — No resolution in sight

Attorneys reportedly met in December of last year to attempt a mediation between the groups, but reports indicate it did not end well.

In the meantime, recent federal budget cuts threaten the terms of the current contract between a military joint task force — which is currently using the high school building as its base while they assist in construction of the Summit Bechtel Reserve — and The Center of Hope.

Mount Hope Mayor Michael Martin does not belong to either community group, but says he attends board meetings of both. As mayor, staying out of the mess is impossible, he said, but he’s trying his best.

Martin would not speak on the record about the situation except to urge a shift in the current tack of town leaders in both groups.

“I think if we made the effort to get along and work together to keep positive things going on in this community and avoid negative things, we’d go so much further,” he said.

State Police investigations often begin with a call from a citizen who believes a crime has been committed, said Sgt. Wolfe.

If the police believe there are reasonable grounds to suspect that’s the case, they move forward with an investigation. Eventually, they present their findings to the prosecuting attorney, who makes a determination about whether to bring charges.

Wolfe and Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Carl Harris have reportedly not yet met extensively on the matter.  

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