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Lewis County assessor pleads guilty to harassment

Exponent Telegram file photo by Matt Harvey  Kelley
Exponent Telegram file photo by Matt Harvey

WESTON — Lewis Assessor T. Chad Kelley on Thursday pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassing communications by cellphone and was placed on unsupervised probation for 6 months and fined $500 by Special Magistrate Juanita Adams.

If Kelley violates probation, Special Prosector Leckta Poling said she would seek a revocation and jail time.

Kelley is to have no contact with the victim — direct or indirect — throughout his probation. In return for the plea to the misdemeanor harassing communications by cellphone charge, the state dismissed a misdemeanor stalking charge.

 The victim said following the hearing that she was pleased with the resolution.

“I just want it all over with,” she said. “The main thing was where he admitted what he did was wrong. That was the main thing I was going for.”

Kelley, who had been scheduled for trial in mid-November said: “I’m glad to have it behind me. And now I want to focus 100 percent on winning this election and still keep the continued support of Lewis County that I’ve had in the past 20 years” in the assessor’s office. Kelley is in his seventh year as assessor and was chief deputy before that, and is also president of the West Virginia Assessor’s Association.

 Both defense attorney Sam Harrold III and Special Prosecutor Poling said the conviction won’t prevent Kelley from serving as assessor if he is elected.

Kelley, a Democrat, is opposed by Republican challenger John Breen.

See more from The Exponent Telegram. 

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