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Suspended Chief May Get Paid

By Staff | Nov 3, 2015

Paden City Council approved a motion Monday to continue to pay a former police chief who was suspended after he allegedly attacked a woman.

Pending the outcome of a scheduled hearing next Monday in Tyler County Magistrate Court, council will hold a special meeting Nov. 10 to decide whether or not to continue to pay former Police Chief Joseph Richardson, who was arrested Oct. 12 by State Police officers responding to a domestic disturbance at his residence in Friendly.

Police said Richardson allegedly attacked a woman multiple times and slammed her against a wall. He was charged with domestic battery and unlawful restraint.

Mayor John Hopkins said Monday that State Police have not released anything to city leaders regarding the report being prepared about allegations involving Richardson.

Hopkins said he verbally notified Richardson on Oct. 12 that he was suspended from his job pending a State Police investigation.

This is the second time council met to discuss the matter.

After a special meeting Oct. 14, council unanimously approved a motion to suspend Richardson with pay pending the outcome of the investigation. Richardson is employed full-time at $18 an hour, according to city hall.

The city’s police small force took another hit Monday when council announced that a police officer was resigning so as to take a full-time job at St. Mary’s Correctional Center in Pleasants County.

In a letter dated Oct. 17, Office Justin Wade notified council that Oct. 31 was to be his last shift. Hopkins said of the city’s four police officers, two remain on staff. He said two Wetzel County sheriff’s deputies would be assisting the police department as needed.

Council approved naming Sgt. Tim Shreve, who has served on the city police force about three years, is serving as interim police chief.

Richardson remains free on a $10,000 bond.

According to the criminal complaint, State Police arrived to find the house unoccupied, though blood was located on the porch and door. Shortly after, Richardson was pulled over by officers Monday in Davenport, near Sistersville. Richardson was taken into custody at that time.

The victim, located in the vehicle where Richardson was stopped, told police Richardson had allegedly become violent after an argument at about 11:30 p.m., tackling her to the ground multiple times, slamming her against the bedroom wall and damaging several objects around the home. He allegedly then forced her into the vehicle, where he prevented her escape by driving at a high rate of speed.

The victim said she was overpowered several times while attempting to escape, during which she sustained facial wounds including a cut lip and broken tooth.

The victim’s ex-boyfriend told officers at the scene that he had been contacted by the victim, who was screaming for help, and that Richardson had allegedly been aggressive. A further investigation of the residence found additional blood throughout the home, as well as a large hole in the bedroom wall. Scattered debris indicated a physical altercation.