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West Virginia official not cited by police for erratic driving; incident under investigation


Police in West Virginia said Wednesday they are investigating a traffic stop in which a state official was pulled over after he was spotted driving erratically but was allowed to continue operating the vehicle without being cited.

Charleston Police Chief Scott Dempsey said in a statement that officers conducted the traffic stop on southbound Interstate 77 Tuesday night after receiving a call that an off-duty state trooper had witnessed the vehicle in the city’s east end.

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The statement identified the driver of the vehicle that was stopped as Jimmy Wriston. Gov. Jim Justice confirmed at his weekly media briefing Wednesday that state Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston was the driver who was pulled over.

Wriston was not charged or cited for any traffic or criminal offense, the police statement said.

However, “due to circumstances surrounding the traffic stop, an internal investigation has been opened to determine if the Charleston Police Department policies were followed appropriately,” Dempsey said.

An email seeking comment from a Department of Transportation spokesperson wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday.

Justice said he was informed about the traffic stop, “and we’ll get to the bottom of it for sure.”

Justice appointed Wriston as department secretary and commissioner of the state Division of Highways in October 2021 following the retirement of Byrd White.




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