Philippi officer placed on leave; probe ongoing

PHILIPPI – A Philippi police officer has been placed on paid leave pending a West Virginia State Police investigation, Police Chief Jeff Walters said Monday.

Walters said he received a call at about 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 4 about allegations made against Patrolman Robert Matheny, who was then immediately placed on administrative leave.

“I was notified of an alleged incident – where officer Matheny was involved – with another male and two females from WVU (West Virginia University),” Walters said. “There were some allegations made against officer Matheny. He was immediately put on administrative leave.”

Walters said he could not say what those allegations were, but that Matheny’s gun and badge were taken and that he has no police powers at the present time. He said that at least two incidents occurred in Barbour and Monongalia counties.

The Philippi detachment of the West Virginia State Police is investigating the matter, Walters said.

When asked for specific details about incidents in which Matheny was allegedly involved, Walters replied, “I will not comment on that because I do not want to hinder the state police’s investigation.”

The Philippi Police Department is not currently conducting an internal investigation.

“When the state police are done, we’ll take over,” Walters said, adding that if there are resulting criminal charges, “we’ll sit back until the criminal charges are complete.”

Matheny’s leave has cast a shadow of allegations and rumors, which Walters said were not accurate. The Inter-Mountain received an anonymous phone call over the weekend alleging that a Philippi Police Officer had been arrested.

“The rumors that he was arrested and waving his gun at the state police and all – that isn’t true,” Walters said.

Matheny has not been arrested on any charges in either Monongalia or Barbour counties, according to representatives from the magistrate clerk’s offices in those counties.

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