POINT PLEASANT — Mason County Sheriff David L. Anthony, II, has returned to work this week.
Anthony returned to work earlier this week and upon that return, made some personnel changes, namely, replacing Chief Deputy Jeff Fields with Deputy Rob Wilson.
It’s been a week of unexpected shakeups from the sheriff who filed for a second term a week ago today despite facing a lengthy criminal indictment handed down by a grand jury last month. Anthony has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has retained Attorney David Moye to defend him in a trial tentatively scheduled for April 10.
Moye has called the charges in the indictment “absolutely frivolous.” Moye indicated the sheriff intends to take his case to a jury, and wishes to keep the trial in Mason County to “be vindicated by the same people who trusted him to serve.”
Last week, Moye indicated Anthony could return to his post in an “administrative capacity” despite the criminal charges and conditions of his bond.
In addition to the criminal charges, Anthony is still facing the threat of removal from the Mason County Commission who voted to begin removal proceedings against him after audit findings which are believed to be related to charges in the indictment. If the commission’s efforts are successful, it could mean a more expeditious way of getting Anthony removed from office when compared to a court proceeding. For example, the commission files their petition with a panel of three judges. The date the panel convenes is not to be less than 24 days from the date of filing the petition. The panel hears the charges and evidence and can, upon satisfactory proof of the charges, remove Anthony from office. If the panel chooses to remove Anthony, he can appeal within 30 days from the order’s entry date.
Again, the story continues to unfold as Anthony, a Democrat, prepares not only for his legal fight but to face four other Democratic candidates in the upcoming May primary, including John Paul Casey of Apple Grove, Donnie Kapp of Evans, Gregory Powers of Point Pleasant and James Will of Point Pleasant.