Eric Douglas Published

Kanawha Commissioner Retires Under Cloud

Man in dark suit standing at a podium.
Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper has retired after 28 on the commision.
Courtesy Kanawha County Facebook Page

Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper announced Friday that he has retired from his position. 

Almost exactly a year ago, allegations surfaced that Carper, then the county commission president, had exposed himself to a woman in a parking lot. About the same time, Carper had a heart attack and underwent open heart surgery. 

Friday, Carper retired from the commission after 28 years. He was a candidate on the ballot for May 14 to retain his seat, but in a statement he said he would not continue to serve regardless of the outcome of the election. 

“County Commissioner is a demanding job, one at which I have worked hard every day for 28 years. After a series of medical issues over the past year, however, I have decided that now is the time to pass the torch.

“Earlier today, I retired from my position as county commissioner. I make this announcement now so that voters know I will no longer be serving on the commission, regardless of the result of the election. I am deeply grateful to the people of Kanawha County for the opportunity to serve them for so long. I could not be prouder of what we accomplished together, and I look forward to continuing to serve our community in any and every way that I can.”

Will Thompson, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia said in a statement “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia and its partners have concluded an investigation involving now-former Kanawha County Commissioner W. Kent Carper. The investigation uncovered significant allegations of concern. It also found that Carper had significant health issues that could have had an impact on his actions relevant to the investigation. As a result, a decision has been made to end the investigation without taking further action, United States Attorney Will Thompson announced today.

Thompson has ended the investigation without taking further action. 

A statement from the county commission read: 

“The Commission appreciates Commissioner Carper’s service to the Commission of 28 years.  The Commission will discuss the appointment of the vacant seat at an upcoming meeting.”