MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (DC News Now) — A special prosecutor will probe a January 6 traffic incident involving the 22-year-old daughter of Berkeley County Sheriff Nathan Harmon.
Carrie Harmon said she was trying to avoid a deer that night when her vehicle swerved and hit a fence on Cemetery Road, causing some property damage.
The county sheriff’s office investigated the incident, but residents are questioning whether law enforcement showed any favoritism.
Berkeley County prosecuting attorney Catie Wilkes Delligatti said that the move is “to assure transparency. Someone from outside the county will investigate our elected officials. We want to have the situation looked at by a neutral third party.”
But with social media ablaze, many in the county can’t shake a sense of favoritism.
Sheriff Harmon said that proper procedure was followed. Since there was no indication of alcohol or drug use, there was no need for a sobriety test or breathalyzer, he said.
“An officer has to suspect some type of intoxication — that alcohol or some type of drugs were involved,” said Harmon. “If there’s no suspicion of that, there will be no preliminary breath test, no field sobriety test.
Sandy Gano lives where Harmon drove through the fence on her neighbor’s property that night. She said the road is dangerous even on a clear night.
“People who either live around here or travel this road know about this road, but had it been somebody else that did it other than the sheriff’s daughter, they would have been arrested and given a sobriety test,” said Gano.
Harmon says he arrived at the scene every bit as much as a concerned father as well as a member of law enforcement.
“The deputy did his job,” said Harmon. “I did not interfere. I was there for my daughter. She went home with a friend, and I went home with a peaceful mind.”