Editor’s Note: The WV Daily News is an independent community news organization, and has a responsibility to provide fact-based information to our readers in order for them to form their own opinions, regardless of whether it helps or hinders a specific cause or political party.
Lewisburg WV (WVDN) – The WV State Police has confirmed through official documents that West Virginia 10th District State Senate hopeful Vince Deeds has misrepresented his career as a trooper to the public.
Deeds has stated several times publicly on social media, at the recent Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce candidate’s forum, and through a recent Facebook post and press release, that he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel: Chief of Staff Services.
According to official West Virginia State Police documents, on August 9, 2018, Deeds received a Special Order (Number 373) that states, “In accordance with Chapter 15, Article 2, Section 4 of the Code of West Virginia, the following named member of the West Virginia State Police is hereby relieved of the temporary appointment and returned to his permanent rank of First Lieutenant, and transferred, as indicated, effective August 10, 2018.”
The document then states the following: “Vincent S. Deeds From Lieutenant Colonel Chief of Staff Services to Logistics Officer Troop 7.”
On April 26, 2022, The Daily News reached out to Deeds for comment, and he stated that he would provide a written statement to explain his position.
A press release from Deeds’ campaign office dated April 27, 2022, stated, “On August 7, 2018, Candidate Deeds signed his retirement letter as Lieutenant Colonel V.S. Deeds, Chief of Staff Services. In the West Virginia State Police, officers retire under their highest rank. Candidate Deeds’ shadow box received upon retirement, his retirement package, and his official rank per State Police retirement protocol, all state and are based upon the title ‘Lieutenant Colonel Chief of Staff Services.”
The West Virginia Daily News contacted the WV State Police headquarters in Charleston to fact-check Deed’s statements that were included in his press release. A State Police senior official was able to address these statements.
The official explained that Deeds did submit his retirement position one day before the special order 373 was issued relieving him of his position.
“Yes, Mr. Deeds was a Lt. Colonel Chief of Staff Services at the time he submitted his retirement petition,” stated the official. “However, service personnel retire at the rank they hold on the last day of service, not when they submit their retirement petition.”
The WV State Police official also explained that a shadow box is an honorary gift of recognition, like a gold retirement watch, and is not a formal representation or indication of the final position of rank at retirement.
The WV Daily News asked the WV State Police official why Mr. Deeds was relieved of his temporary position as Lt. Colonel, Chief of Staff Services at Troop Zero (headquarters in Charleston), and the official stated that they were unable to provide that information. When asked if it was considered a demotion, the official replied, “he was relieved of his duties and rank as temporary Lt. Colonel Chief of Staff Services.”
The official stated that Deeds had been the temporary Lt. Colonel Chief of Staff at the headquarters for approximately five months, and on August 9, 2018, Deeds was relieved of his duty and assigned to Troop 7 as a Logistics Officer. Deeds returned to the rank of First Lieutenant and directed logistics for the Parkway Authority, commonly known as the WV Turnpike, reporting under Captain Bragg.
The Daily News also asked the WV State Police official to confirm the following statements:
Question 1: Is it accurate that Deeds retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, Chief of Staff Services, as it says in his political biography?
The WV SP official answered “No,” and referred back to Special Order 021, stating that he officially retired as “First Lieutenant V. S. Deeds.”
Question 2: In his press release Deeds stated, “Candidate Deeds requested and was granted terminal leave due to accumulated unused leave time leading toward retirement on February 1st, 2019. During this time, Candidate Deeds’ rank was changed in preparation for the anticipated retirement date.” Was the change in rank a technicality due to Deeds’ unused leave time prior to his retirement?
The WV SP official answered “No,” while Deeds submitted his retirement petition the day before the special order was issued, he was relieved of his temporary status of Lt. Colonel under that order. On his last day of service on February 1, 2019, his rank was First Lieutenant.
Question 3: In his press release, Deeds announced that WVSP officers retire under their highest rank. So, in this frame, did Deeds retire under the title of Lieutenant Colonel Chief of Staff as a type of honorary rank as opposed to his actual rank? Is that something that happens?
The WV SP official answered “Incorrect.” Personnel retire at the rank they hold on the last day of service.
The official documentation from the WV State Police is attached.
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