Pleasants County prosecutors deny charges from “Slow Down” program

WTAP News @ 5
Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT|Updated: Dec. 17, 2021 at 5:16 PM EST
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ST. MARYS, W.Va. (WTAP) - Pleasants County’s prosecutor and assistant prosecutor deny the charges leading to disciplinary action taken against them earlier this fall.

Prosecutor Brian Carr and Assistant Prosecutor Paul Marteney were both charged in October with violating rules of professional conduct by the West Virginia Lawyer Disciplinary Board.

Reponses recently filed by both attorneys deny the charges, saying they did not willingly violate state law, and that the attorneys of offenders had no objection to how their cases were handled.

Both prosecutors were accused of allowing traffic violations including DUI’s, domestic charges and passing a stopped school bus, in exchange for a donation to the holiday toy drive.

Carr’s response stated the program was run by local law enforcement, and that the prosecutors did not take part in the distribution of donations.


Accusations against the Pleasants County Prosecutor and his assistant all involve the program called “Slow Down For the Holidays”, where police and sheriff’s deputies would forgive traffic tickets, in some cases, if the offenders would make donations to holiday charities. The program ran from the late 2000′s to 2020.

The West Virginia Lawyer Disciplinary Board found Prosecutor Brian Carr and Assistant Prosecutor Paul Marteney in violation of West Virginia’s Rules of Professional Conduct.

A statement of charges issued by the board says both attorneys made motions to dismiss charges for violations which included DUI’s, domestic charges and passing a stopped school bus. The defendant in the latter case was also facing separate charges in two counties.

Another case involved a woman who was pulled over for driving erratically, who admitted to smoking marijuana about a half hour before the stop.

In a separate matter, the board’s report said Carr, who was elected prosecutor in 2016, continued to work in private practice-another violation of professional conduct rules-and made a false statement to Circuit Judge Tim Sweeney that he had discontinued his private legal work.

Carr has until mid-November to respond to the board’s report. When we reached out to him, he told us he is in the process of hiring an attorney to answer the complaints, and declined to comment further.

Pleasants County Commissioner Jay Powell said Thursday afternoon his understanding of the commission’s role in this is only to appoint a successor should Carr leave office before the end of his term.

You can read previous related coverage here.

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