Associated Press Published

W.Va. Mayor, Police Chief Charged with Embezzlement

Downtown Richwood, WV, at dawn after hours of heavy rain flooded the little town.

The mayor, police chief and former clerk of a West Virginia city have been charged with embezzlement.

Criminal complaints filed Friday in Nicholas County charged Richwood Mayor Chris Drennen, police chief Lloyd Allen Cogar and former clerk Abigail McClung.

The filings come hours before the state auditor is to release findings of an investigation into misuse of public funds in the city.

The complaint says Drennen was paid about $45,000 extra without council approval to help the city recover from a massive 2016 flood. At the time, Drennen oversaw Richwood’s finances as the city’s recorder.

Cogar is accused of using government purchasing cards in personal transactions.

Authorities also say McClung wrongly paid herself for unused vacation time.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the three had attorneys. A city spokeswoman declined to comment.