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In The News:

Commissioner McClung Pleads Not Guilty

Greenbrier County Commissioner Mike McClung entered a not guilty plea to three misdemeanor charges on Tuesday, November 30.

The three charges, including unauthorized access to computer services, unauthorized possession of computer data or programs, and unauthorized possession of computer information, were filed by Special Prosecuting Attorney Brian Parsons on January 22, 2020.

McClung allegedly took a hard drive from the Greenbrier Valley Airport without the permission of airport staff or the Greenbrier Valley Airport Authority. The case has been dormant since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In late October, after an inquiry about the case was made to Parsons’ office, the case moved to arraignment.

McClung (standing), speaks with Parsons after the hearing.

Greenbrier County Special Judge Andrew Dimlich, who typically operates in Raleigh County, presided over the hearing. After some preliminary questions, such as McClung’s age, 72, his education level, three years of college, and confirming he had not taken any legal or illegal medications that could “affect [his] ability to think,” Dimlich asked the year-delayed question.

“Mr. McClung, how do you plead to the charges set forth in the information?” Dimlich asked.

“I plead not guilty,” McClung responded.

Later in the hearing, Dimlich asked a follow up question about defense representation.

“Mr. McClung, I should have asked you this,” Dimlich said. “You don’t have an attorney today? I’m assuming you have not retained an attorney at this time.”

“That is correct,” McClung replied.

“Mr. McClung, I, sooner than later, would retain an attorney, okay?” Dimlich said a few minutes later. “If you’re going to get one, don’t wait on it.”

Parsons addressed the issue of bond.

“Your Honor, this is a matter of first impressions that need to be processed,” said Parsons. “As [to] the issue of bond for these being three misdemeanors, he has appeared on the strength of notice from the court. Having traveled some distance to appear … outside of his own jurisdiction, I think the personal recognizance bond and the amount of $500 would be appropriate.”

Dimlich approved the bond.

Parsons (standing) speaks.

A motions hearing was set for February 15, with a potential trial date following on March 1. The hearing is currently scheduled in Raleigh County, but could move on request. This is because the case is a Greenbrier County case – Parsons confirmed after the hearing it took place in Raleigh County for the convenience of the judge and prosecutor.

“If you want it to be in Greenbrier County, then we’re gonna have to do a conference call, coordinate, and see if we can get into a courtroom down there,” Dimlich told McClung. “… We can do it here. If you retain an attorney, obviously, Mr. Parsons will coordinate with him. If not, you and Mr. Parsons can coordinate that. … I’ll leave that up to you and you want to come here whether you want me to come to Greenbrier County.”

“Respectfully, I’ll wait [before] I make any decisions until I’ve retained counsel,” McClung said.

“I think that’s a good idea,” Dimlich responded.

After the hearing, McClung was processed for bond purposes, then had a short meeting with Parsons that was unavailable to the public.

McClung declined to comment for this story.

For more information on the case, see “Case Against Commissioner McClung Moves Forward” on The West Virginia Daily News website or in the October 29, 2021, edition.

The Raleigh County Courtroom.


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