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DMAPS Dec. 12 update on DCR photo investigation


Dec. 12, 2019

DMAPS Dec. 12 update on DCR photo investigation


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety released additional information Thursday in response to Freedom of Information Act requests prompted by the photo of the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Basic Training Class #18.


The information includes a list of the class’ coursework by subject and instructor, and a roster of the class members’ facility assignments.


Additional information provided includes DCR’s organizational chart, its current record management policy, and the version of the class photo previously released.


Records requested through FOIA but withheld as exempt include: a complete list of class member; a list of anyone disciplined, suspended or terminated in this matter; an unblurred version of the class photo; the full name and position of the “Byrd” figure referenced in its caption;  and the name of the individual who took the photo.


DMAPS has previously stated that “Byrd” refers to a training instructor for the class, and that the photographer was one of the two training instructors fired in this matter.


For additional employment-related information, the FOIA responses refer inquiries to the Division of Personnel, the West Virginia State Auditor and http://www.transparencvwv.org/TotalComp/EmployeeComp.



Otherwise, the responses to the FOIA requests cited W.Va. Code 29B-1-4(a)(8), and for some of the records sought also invoked 29B-1-4(a)(2), (3), (4), (5), (8),(9), (10), (11), (13), (14), (15), (16), (19), and (21).


W.Va. Code 29B, the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act, is available online: http://code.wvlegislature.gov/29B.


“A number of these request have been denied due to the need to have a thorough and complete investigation,” the responses said. “As soon as the final report is presented to the Governor's office and approved by his staff, the public will be advised of its completion. At that time, any additional responses which do not violate the law, policy, or exemptions will be released pursuant to a proper and valid request.”


The responses further explained: “following the conclusion of the internal investigation, the legal analysis and conclusion may change regarding the exempt status of certain documents which may be responsive to a request made at such time. If this is the case, and a request is submitted after the conclusion of the internal investigation, it will be reviewed, and if the material is found not to be exempt at that time, it will be provided pursuant to such a request.”


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LAWRENCE MESSINA (304) 558-2930 Lawrence.C.Messina@wv.gov