Wriston cleared of wrongdoing, 911 caller under investigation

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The Charleston Police Department has released new information about its stop of West Virginia Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston after reports that he was driving erratically.

Police are confirming that there was no probable cause to arrest him for any offense and are now investigating the call that prompted the stop in the first place.

That’s an abrupt change from the information that Governor Jim Justice released during his briefing, where he said he was “concerned and “probably disappointed.”

He said Wriston has done a good job as secretary, and while he found the incident to be concerning, he wanted to wait until the details were out to make any determination.

“Jimmy Wriston has done an outstanding job as far as his job,” Justice said. “I give people the benefit of the doubt and absolutely want to make sure that we are on solid ground before we start accusing people and saying this or that… Right now, there’s enough stuff that doesn’t look very good, but let’s just wait.”

Justice said he was waiting for the outcome of the investigation, and those results now seem to clear Wriston of any wrongdoing. In a statement released this afternoon, Charleston Police Chief Scott Dempsey said that the 911 call that described Wriston’s supposed erratic driving was not accurate or truthful.

Officers did detect the odor of alcohol, but Wriston passed both field sobriety tests that he was given.

Law enforcement is now investigating the call itself. The caller identified themselves as an off-duty trooper, but the investigation indicated that it wasn’t the case.

The caller’s description of Wriston’s driving was not found to be accurate, either.

Ultimately, the department agreed with the officer’s decision not to arrest and charge Wriston during the stop due to a lack of probable cause.

Wriston did not drive himself away from the traffic stop, and a “known friend” picked him up.

We are still tracking this story and will update you as we learn more.

Sponsored Content