Dear Governor Manchin…

The Doo-doo has finally hit the fan. The WV State Police are IN THE SPOTLIGHT. The buck passing starts.

Well over 700 comments on the WSAZ website ( stemming from the death of Trooper Gonzales. Serious calls for civilians review boards from the House of Delegates. A Lawyer beaten up and hospitalized by a State Trooper. The truth of our peril is finally hitting the mainstream news. And boy, do folks have a lot to say on the matter:

West Virginia State Police are investigating a deadly shooting involving one of their own.

Police say Corporal Marlo Gonzales shot and killed himself Wednesday night near his home on Sycamore Road in Hurricane. His father-in-law found his body inside his police cruiser, dressed in uniform.

State Police say he shot himself with his service revolver.

The investigation is in the preliminary stages, but troopers did say he shot himself with his service revolver.

Gonzales was a 13-year veteran of the department. He was stationed at the Clay County Detachment, but was recently assigned to the detachment in South Charleston.

Colonel D.L. Lemmon says he was a friendly guy and this has taken people who work with him by surprise.

Troopers say Gonzales was on duty at the time of the shooting. Corporal Gonzales has a wife and three children. He was 39 years old.

Stay with for the latest information.


Here are a couple exerpts from the WSAZ site:

Governor Manchin is calling for those who want change to come forward. That’s what he told WSAZ in an interview Wednesday morning when we asked him about the allegations posted on this story.

“I know you hear rumors and blaming,” said Manchin. “I have not seen any evidence, whatsoever; but, we’re going to work through it to make the system better.”

Governor Manchin says not one person has called his office to complain.

“No one should ever be anonymous. If you have a constructive complaint, a way to make things better, please come forward. People should not have to work or live in fear. It’s not how this government is run, not how this administration operates, and I won’t tolerate it in any branches of our administration,” said Manchin.

Former trooper Jason Gilley spoke to WSAZ regarding the way he was treated when he was working for the West Virginia State Police.

Gilley says the current administration at the WVSP forced him to resign in January. He said he was even threatened physically by one of his supervisors.

—-also a sample comment from the long list—-

I am not being anonymous, my name is Thomas Wagner and I was recently fired after 18 1/2 years with the State Police. I will gladly speak with Governor Manchin. Especially of how the State Police Internal Affairs picks and chooses which complaints they will investigate. An example is; I made a complaint against a supervisor for ordering his subordinates to falsify monthly paperwork, it was never looked into. The good ol’ boy system in the State Police is as strong as ever…


I have said it before and I will say it again, NOW is the time to file ANY complaints regarding State Police Conduct with the GOVERNORS OFFICE. No more room for FEAR. We need to SAVE OUR STATE! This is no joke.

Here is a copy of the letter Calhoun Underground editors have written to the Governors office.

If you have no writing skills feel free to copy and paste any portion of this letter, and include your specific complaint if you have one. Or contact the Calhoun Underground for help. Click on the post called “Exercising Your Rights” for the Governors office address.


Dear Governor Manchin,

West Virginia is a BEAUTIFUL state, the heritage, traditions and friendliness of the people being some of the most appealing things here. The job situation is not good, mountains are being beheaded and look like war zones, and the State Police are so out of control as to be a menace to peoples’ safety, privacy, and general well being. Even tho tourism could and should be the number one attraction to this state, we are rapidly becoming famous for police corruption instead, which will keep tourists from wanting to come here.

It is truly a shame that ANYONE had to die, possibly as a direct result of being a State Trooper. One can only hope Trooper Gonzalez’s death is NOT swept under the rug, but is the catalyst for CHANGE, so that his death was NOT for nothing. Look at what happened on the WSAZ website, ( when people are given the opportunity and motivation to speak their piece. I read hundreds of the comments on the death of Gonzalez and the state of the State Police organization. It was a real eye opener. Apparently the State Police themselves are going thru a lot of what the population of this state is being put thru BY THEM. We, as citizens of WV, are subject to being targeted, mistreated, manipulated and lied to, threatened, beat up, arrested on bogus charges, terrorized and intimidated, and thoroughly afraid to speak out for fear of retribution. Sound familiar? Apparently these things are starting at the top with Mr. Lemmon and trickling down to the little guys. It is obvious from reading the complaints on the WSAZ site that if we think the State Police in general are crooked, or resemble militaristic nazis, that Mr. Lemmon must be akin to Hitler himself in his influence. Are West Virginians really such a bunch of hard-core lawless criminals that they need to live under such a gross misuse of power?

You say you need people to file complaints and they just are not forthcoming? You insist, as well as the Professional Standards Unit of the State Police, that people must stop making “anonymous” complaints, as they will do no good. And yet the State Police think nothing of ruining someone’s life over “anonymous” tips. “Anonymous” can get them a search warrant or an investigation. “Anonymous” can be used as a weapon by someone who simply does not like you. It doesn’t matter if you are guilty of ANYTHING, “anonymous” can have the police invading your privacy and smashing your things if they take a notion to.

Until now, I had never heard of the organization called “Military Affairs and Public Safety”. That is truly a frightening title. There is NOTHING safe for the public in “Military Affairs”. And why do the State Police function UNDER such an organization? West Virginia is NOT at war! We are simply common citizens trying to survive and have a bit of happiness in our lives. But we must live under an obvious war-time scenario, with State Police acting as a militaristic organization rather than “public servants”. The State Police themselves have created an environment resembling “war”. They have caused many average citizens to fear them or have no trust in their behavior. Folks who would ordinarily call the police for help are scared to, for fear of what might happen. A small problem can easily grow into a giant one thanks to a State Police officer, drunk on power and authority. An example of this situation would be the Roane County incident in which a man who needed some mental help and ran into the woods unprepared for the cold and rain with a shot gun, was totally surrounded, totally out numbered, and gunned down IN COLD BLOOD by officers with high powered weapons who would rather be sitting home in the warm and dry rather than simply wait a few more hours for the individual to surrender. This was all swept under the rug as being an appropriate action. But many CITIZENS feel diferently and people who knew this man know the real story. If THIS is the type of “help” we can expect when we call 9-11 then we must surely THINK TWICE before we EVER get the State Police involved in ANYTHING.

In this little corner of the world, Calhoun County, I can find NO ONE who trusts the State Police here, and in fact it is nearly impossible for many to trust ANY police officer in this county any more. None of the remaining officers, (the ones who have not already gone down due to corruption, illegal activities, or negligent stupidity) appear to have any credibility in the eyes of most citizens, with numerous reports of lies, even under oath, contempt, missing evidence, brutality, etc. I imagine that Calhoun Counties police problems, which have been in the news regularly, are not so different than the other counties in this state.

As Governor, you have the final authority over the police in this state. I find it completely unacceptable that State Police need only have a GED in this state, creating a situation in which many times the officers are not as intelligent nor as educated as the people they are harassing and/or arresting. These officers have NO human psychology skills other than being able to put on the “good cop/bad cop” act. They have no knowledge nor programs set in place for dealing with the mentally ill. Their human relations skills are at a bare minimum.

It is a CRIME that the death of Trooper Gonzalez is being investigated by the State Police! With the state of things in WV today, it is possible that his death is being investigated by those who were in some way RESPONSIBLE for it. This happens over and over again when the State Police ONLY allow the State Police to investigate problems within the State Police organization.  County or regional Citizens Review boards would surely help, but the WVSP don’t want it. WHY do the State Police continue to get what they want at the expense of all other citizens? What do you suppose happens when State Police investigate each other? That is a no-brainer. This would be very much like going into a regional jail and allowing the prisoners to decide the guilt or innocence of their fellow prisoners. What would happen? MOST would simply go home, the rest would suffer severely, possibly a few even losing their lives…

Problems within the WV State Police are soon to become NATIONAL news, if it has not happened already. And it is ABOUT TIME!!! Governor Manchin, it is UP TO YOU. West Virginia is in serious trouble and we NEED YOUR HELP! Please do NOT allow this to go away. Now is the time, the ball is in your court, and the world is watching.

editor –

Published in: on August 1, 2007 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

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