ELKINS, W.Va. -- Barbour County Sheriff John Hawkins has resigned and pleaded guilty to a charge that he staged an automobile accident to receive an insurance payment of nearly $8,300.
The 47-year-old Philippi resident entered a guilty plea Thursday in federal court in Elkins to an information charging him with mail fraud.
U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld says Hawkins admitted to staging the accident last April. With the help of one of his deputies, he fabricated a claim to Nationwide Insurance.
The prosecutor says a review found inconsistencies in Hawkins story about the accident. Photos taken by an insurance adjuster and information from the vehicle's data recorder contradicted his version of events.
Hawkins used his office email account to communicate with Nationwide about the claim, which was paid last year.