HANOVER, Va. (WRIC) — Hanover’s top prosecutor signaled no intent to investigate cases handled by a decertified deputy after 8News discovered he allegedly “reported inaccuracies.”
Hanover County Commonwealth’s Attorney R.E. Chalkley said, “I have no intent to pursue any criminal charges at this time,” after the Hanover NAACP publicly called for him to investigate cases handled by now-resigned Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Ryan Payne.
Chalkley said he already reviewed the cases in question, and any defendants charged after Payne handled the review had their charges dropped, though he did not say how many people had charges dropped.
Two men told 8News their DUI charges were dropped after learning Payne told information to a judge, contrary to what he initially reported happened.
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said they launched an internal investigation into Payne in late Nov. in consult with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.
“I’ve met with the sheriff, I’ve reviewed the information and I see no reason to bring criminal charges against anyone at this point in time,” Chalkley doubled down, but refused to share specifics of the investigation.
The discovery of allegations against Payne followed an 8News investigation into Virginia police officers decertified as a result of a new state law that expands offenses for decertification; including excessive force and lying.
Hanover NAACP President Patricia Hunter-Jordan responded to Chalkley’s response to their call, saying, “We will have to go further,” but stopped short of saying who the NAACP may seek out for an investigation into Payne’s cases until they hear directly from Chalkley.
Hunter-Jordan said she sent a letter to Chalkley on Monday, Feb. 21 with their request for an investigation, but she has not received a response.
Chalkley said he had not received a letter from the Hanover NAACP, but Hunter-Jordan alluded to the possibility he may not have yet received it, given the letter was sent on the President’s Day holiday.