POINT PLEASANT — A former Mason County Board of Education Member and former Mason County Sheriff’s Department Deputy signed off on plea agreements on Tuesday in Mason County Circuit Court.
Former Mason County Board of Education Member Teresa Warner, 52, Point Pleasant, has pleaded guilty to one count of bribery and former Deputy Robert E. Fruth, II, 43, Point Pleasant, has pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor offense of failure to maintain control.
Warner’s plea agreement states she could face not less than one year in jail but no more than 10 years in jail for the crime. Warner is scheduled to be sentenced in the matter at 10:30 a.m., June 1 in Mason County Circuit Court.
Arrested in 2010, Warner was charged with selling GED tests in exchange for payment. A Mason County grand jury indicted her in January for six counts of bribery in official and political matters, charges which she initially pleaded not guilty to in circuit court. Also, this past January, Warner was charged with DUI and later resigned from the school board.
In exchange for a guilty plea, five of the six counts of bribery of a public official will be dismissed.
Special Prosecuting Attorney Mark A. Sorsaia from Putnam County presented the case and signed off on the agreement. The case was investigated by the Mason County Detachment of the West Virginia State Police. Attorney Michael R. Shaw represented Warner in the courtroom on Tuesday.
Fruth pleaded not guilty to a two-count indictment handed down against him in January by a Mason County grand jury. He was accused of damaging a county vehicle and recklessly driving the county vehicle off of the highway. For this, he was originally charged with committing the felony offense of destruction of property. Count two charged him with the misdemeanor offense of reckless driving. The trial on these matters was scheduled to begin on Tuesday but instead a plea agreement was reached.
By agreeing to a plea of no contest to failure to maintain control, the agreement says the state will dismiss the case. The state will also request Mason County Magistrate Court also dismiss two other cases involving Fruth. The plea agreement describes these cases as dealing with alleged violations of a protective order and the validity of a protective order.
The fine for failure to maintain control is no more than $100.
Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Damon Morgan, Jr. signed off on the agreement as did Fruth and his Attorneys Mark McMillian and Michael N. Eachus.