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Former Mineral County deputy circuit clerk sentenced

September 24th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

West Virginia Metro News reports a former Mineral County chief deputy circuit clerk was sentenced Wednesday to 2-20 years in prison after stealing money to fuel an alcohol and gambling addiction. Gary Duane Feaster apologized to the court for his three years of theft that resulted in criminal charges after an investigation by the Public Integrity and Fraud Unit of the state Auditor’s Office.

Feaster pleaded guilty earlier this year to a prosecutor’s information

As chief deputy circuit clerk, Feaster would pocket money residents were paying through the clerks office for various fines. He also took money that was being paid in court-ordered restitution in various cases. Investigators said he took as much as $87,000 over a three-year period.

A number of Feaster’s friends and family members testified on his behalf telling special Circuit Judge C. Carter Williams the addictions had changed Feaster but in recent months he has improved through counseling.

Feaster told Williams he would accept the court’s decision on sentencing but requested leniency. Judge Williams told Feaster his leniency came in the plea agreement reached with the special prosecutor in the case, Steve Connolly. General Counsel, Deputy State Auditor, director of the fraud unit.

Williams ordered Feaster to pay restitution to circuit clerk in the amount of $75,000 and an additional $41,666 to the Auditor’s Office for the cost of the investigation.

State Auditor J.B. McCuskey thanked the Mineral County sheriff’s department, prosecutor’s office and probation office for their cooperation in the investigation.

Feaster was remanded to the Division of Corrections Wednesday to begin serving his sentence.