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What a way to honor our Marines. An outstanding Sheriff Deputy was fired for having a tattoo on the inside of his forearm of praying hands and dog tags. He and his platoon lost one of their own while serving in Iraq and the entire platoon got the same tattoo in memory of the soldier. I would say the Sheriff needs to revise his tattoo policy. They hired him knowing he had the tattoo and fired him without due process after he served his probation period.

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Parkersburg News article link

Wood County deputy fired over tattoo
Natalee Seely
POSTED: April 29, 2010

PARKERSBURG – A former Wood County deputy is fighting for his job after being fired in April over a tattoo on his forearm.

Christopher Piggott, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and former Parkersburg firefighter, said the circumstances of his termination were unfair and his right to due process was violated.

“I’m not ready to give up my career in law enforcement. Being a deputy is something I’ve pursued all my life,” said 29-year-old Piggott. “This whole situation has dumbfounded a lot of people.”

Piggott received a letter of termination April 15, a little over a year after being hired by the Wood County Sheriff’s Office and 11 days after the conclusion of his year-long probationary period, he said.

The termination was over Piggott’s refusal to remove a tattoo on his right forearm depicting two praying hands cupping a Marine Corps ID tag, an image memorializing his five years of service in the armed forces and his two tours of service in Iraq.

Above the hands is the phrase “Unless you were there,” etched in ink.


In 2008, the sheriff’s office implemented a new policy restricting visible tattoos. The policy states, “Tattoos are not to be visible while wearing the summer uniform.”

During his time as a deputy sheriff, Piggott said he covered the tattoo while on duty by wrapping a fitted black band around his forearm or wearing a long-sleeved uniform.

When asked to have the tattoo removed, Piggott refused. A few days later he was terminated, found to be in violation of the rules of conduct and personal appearance, he said.

“I was terminated rather quickly, and no due process was given,” said Piggott. “I feel it was dealt with in an unprofessional way.”

Piggott declined to confirm whether he signed any documentation when hired about agreeing to have his tattoo removed within a certain time frame.

Officials with the Wood County Deputy Sheriff’s Association said the heart of the issue is the violation of the former deputy’s right to a board review before his termination.

Lt. Shawn Graham, president of the Wood County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, said once a deputy’s probationary period has ended, he should be given the right to due process. Citing West Virginia Code 7-14-C, Graham said punitive issues should be presented to a review board before action is taken.

“We feel he was fired without proper procedure. The deputy sheriff’s association held a meeting on his behalf and voted to support Chris and try to get his job back,” said Graham. “I think we are doing what is in the best interest of the citizens. To lose one of our best officers over something like this is wrong.”

The Wood County Deputy Sheriff’s Association notified Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy about its decision to support Piggott. Graham said the association is lobbying for his reinstatement.

“I know many of our deputies have tattoos, and I think they are more socially acceptable now. I can’t think of anyone who would be offended by a tattoo,” said Graham. “The bottom line is, Chris is a fine young man and an asset to the sheriff’s office. His heart is in law enforcement.”

Piggott and his attorney George Cosenza have sent a letter to Sandy requesting reinstatement. A pre-disciplinary hearing was scheduled for May 19, but was postponed because several witnesses were unavailable, said Cosenza.

“I think there are legitimate issues that need to be resolved, and we are just in the beginning stages. Now that the sheriff has decided on punitive action, Piggott is entitled to a pre-disciplinary hearing,” said Cosenza. “There are issues regarding how he was notified of his termination and what exactly his status is now.”

Cosenza said Piggott was sent a letter of termination that advised him of his rights, and he is exercising his right to a pre-disciplinary hearing.

“If the review board believes punitive action should not be taken, the sheriff has a right to appeal to the civil service commission, and the same goes for Piggott. Depending on the outcome, the matter could end up in circuit court,” he said. “I do not believe a deputy sheriff can be fired without a pre-disciplinary hearing, and we have not yet had that hearing.”

Sandy said he could not comment on personnel issues under the advisement of Wood County Prosecutor Jason Wharton.

While Piggott awaits a decision, he has been working various construction jobs.

“I’m just trying to get reinstated. I’m a little nervous about the outcome,” Piggott said. “One of the big reasons I would feel comfortable going back to the department is because I know a lot of the deputies are backing me up.”

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WV State Police Corporal A Pringle


West Virginia state trooper who was struck while on a traffic stop remains in serious condition.

Drunk driver that struck WV Trooper out on bond. For update click here: WTAP.Com

If you would like to help Corporal Pringle and his family, please remember him in your thoughts or it pray and/or send any donations to the address below.

Donations can be sent to:

Cpl. Andrew Pringle Fund
c/o Tonja Pringle
Huntington National Bank
Star Route 80 Box 3
Harrisville, WV 26362

Here is the photo of the drunk driver who struck the trooper

Accused Drunk Driver

Here is a link from WSAZ TV news story regarding this event.

WSAZ TV – Charleston

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UPDATE: WV Trooper struck by drunk driver.

Trooper Pringle has 2 leg fractures, spine and skull fractures and head injury but his condition has changed according to hospital reports. Please check out all of the links posted below for Trooper Pringle, especially the Facebook page to show your concern and support at this critical time. Thank you.

Click here for update information

Original post is here: Original post

Facebook page for Trooper Pringle

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Please pray for WV State Trooper Pringle, who was struck by a drunk driver while on a traffic stop in Ritchie County, WV
He is in critical condition with major trauma injuries.

Facebook page for Tpr Pringle

UPDATE: Upgraded from Critical to Serious. Trooper is starting to respond non-verbally

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UPDATE: State Corporal in Serious Condition
WTAP News
A West Virginia State Police Corporal is in serious condition at a Charleston hospital, after being hit by vehicle during a traffic stop.

UPDATE: 4/25 9:30PM

A West Virginia State Police Corporal is in serious condition at a Charleston hospital, after being hit by vehicle during a traffic stop.

Officials tell us a little before 9:00 Saturday night, Corporal Andy Pringle of the Harrisville detachment was conducting a traffic stop near Cisco.

During the stop, a vehicle driven by Jessie Parsons of McFarlan hit the cruiser and Corporal Pringle.

Pringle had another trooper with him who he was training, his name his Trooper Honaker, and he was also hit by the vehicle, but only suffered minor injuries.

Corporal Pringle was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center.

Parsons is at the North Central Regional Jail and is charged with DUI Causing Bodily Injury.

Corporal Pringle is in serious condition in the ICH, but officials tell us that doctors have seen some signs of progress.

The crash investigation continues.

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UPDATE: April 25th, 2010 10:37AM

West Virginia State Police say on April April 24, at approximately 8:45pm, Corporal A. M. Pringle of the Harrisville Detachment of the West Virginia State Police was conducting a vehicle traffic stop near Cisco, West Virginia. During the traffic stop, another vehicle being driven by Mr. Jessie D. Parsons (63 years of age, from McFarlan, West Virginia) struck Corporal Pringle’s West Virginia State Police issued Ford Crown Victoria and then struck Corporal Pringle alongside the roadway.

Corporal Pringle suffered serious injuries and was initially transported to Camden Clark Hospital in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Eventually, Corporal Pringle was transported to Charleston Area Medical Center to receive further treatment.

Mr. Parsons was arrested for driving under the influence causing bodily injury and subsequently transported to the North Central Regional Jail.

No word on Corporal Pringle’s condition at this point. WTAP will keep you informed as details unfold.
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A West Virginia State Trooper has been taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.

The details are slow to come in at this point, but officials with the Wood County 911 center tell us a Ritchie County State Trooper has been taken to Camden Clark Memorial Hospital.

Around 9:00 Saturday evening, police cruisers were clearing a path through downtown Parkersburg streets to make way for the ambulance transporting the trooper.

Again, that’s all the information we have at this time, but we will keep you updated with the latest.

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W.Va. state trooper seriously injured during traffic stop
From staff reports

PARKERSBURG-A West Virginia State Police Trooper was seriously injured during a routine traffic stop Saturday evening when he was struck by another motorist.

Reports from dispatchers said the incident occurred at the intersection of West Virginia 47 and Newark Road in Ritchie County. Area residents calling The Parkersburg News and Sentinel said Newark Road had been closed to traffic. There were calls on police radios about an officer down in Ritchie County.

Dispatchers with the West Virginia State Police said as of 10:45 p.m. no information was available regarding the trooper’s identity or condition.

Dispatchers at the Wood County 911 Center said Wood County law enforcement officers were called out around 9 p.m. to keep the roadways to Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital clear. Weather conditions Saturday evening may have precluded the use of a helicopter for transportation.

The dispatcher said a trooper had been injured, but no other information was available.

Calls to the state police public information officer for confirmation were not returned late Saturday.

A hospital spokeswoman referred questions about the incident to the Wood County detachment of the state police.

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Coal is big business in West Virginia. They talk about “clean coal technology” but I’m not sure if that exists. It seems to be a fancy title trying to push coal as “green”. I’m not sure clean coal exists. I’ll have to look into it.
I do know that mountain-top mining in West Virginia is ruining the state. I hope West Virginia continues to be the mountain state and stays wild and wonderful but I feel it is being destroyed.

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