Rick Woodyard sworn in as new Wood County Sheriff

WTAP News @ 6
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 3:42 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2021 at 7:31 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - There IS a new sheriff in town.

Rick Woodyard was sworn in Wednesday morning as Wood County’s newest sheriff, in a brief ceremony at the Wood County Courthouse.

Woodyard took the oath of office from Circuit Judge Jason Wharton, surrounded by family, county officials and deputies in the sheriff’s department.

It’s a return to the sheriff’s office for Woodyard, who was a member of the department for more than 30 years as a deputy, a captain and a member of the Violent Crimes and Narcotics Task Force, among other duties.

And he says talking and working with those deputies is among his priorities for his first days in office.

”Some things have changed in the time that I’ve been gone; I’m trying to get up to speed on new procedures and protocols,” Woodyard told us after he took the oath of office. “I’ve already made plans to meet with each individual officer, one on one, to discuss their vision or career path they wish to take. I’m looking forward to meeting every one of them.”>

Woodyard will retain his title as Director of the county 911 center, where he has worked since 2014.

But he told us last week he will draw a paycheck solely for the sheriff’s position.

He says he met last week for an hour and a half with outgoing sheriff Steve Stephens. Stephens sent a letter of retirement to the county commission, after he was the subject of a series of lawsuits alleging a hostile work environment in the department, and was the subject of a “no confidence” vote in October by some sheriff’s deputies.

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