RAINELLE — A State Police trooper is drafting a letter to the Greenbrier County prosecutor’s office outlining certain criteria that must be included in complaints made by townspeople against Mayor Eugene McKenzie.

This unusual scenario unfolded after Rainelle Police Chief J.P. Stevens contacted Prosecutor Kevin Hanson this week for guidance on how to handle a flood of complaints he has recently received involving the mayor’s office.

“We’ve had numerous phone calls of criminal complaints from residents about Mayor McKenzie,” Stevens said Thursday.

Some of the complaints include alleged misuse of power and improperly conducting public meetings, he said. Whether the complaints are of a civil or criminal nature will be sorted out by Hanson.

“I will look at each individual complaint and determine whether they are a potential violation of criminal law and need further investigation by law enforcement,” Hanson said Thursday.

Cpl. K.E. Young of the Rainelle State Police detachment said each complaint must include a name, address, phone number and signature. Young warned that anyone caught filing a false complaint would be subject to criminal prosecution themselves.

“We are trying to provide a proper avenue for those filing a complaint against Mr. McKenzie,” Young said Thursday. “Anyone making false statements could be charged with a crime.”

Young said complaints should be sealed in envelopes and they will be forwarded as is to the prosecutor’s office for review. The letter explaining how to write a complaint is available for review at the Rainelle detachment.

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This latest controversy concerning the mayor’s office is part of a conspiracy by a group of individuals “who will stop at nothing to embarrass me,” McKenzie said by phone Thursday. He believes politicians who were voted out of office in the last election are the driving force behind this round of complaints.

“We’ve got about six or seven people in the community that do nothing but complain, and that’s unfortunate,” he said. “They are all mad because they don’t have control of city hall. These people need to take a good, hard look in the mirror because they are the problem and not me.”

— E-mail: cgiggenbach@register-herald.com

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