A Barbour County private investigator has filed a two-count lawsuit in Barbour County Circuit Court in connection to ongoing litigation involving Barbour County Sheriff John Hawkins.
Franklin Streets, Jr. has alleged that John Hawkins wrote a statement on his personal Facebook page on July 24 stating, "Well if there is a good side to any of this, I have received a couple calls from people who were offered money by the investigator to sign false statements. Hmmmm. Print that on the front page! Anyway, logging off FB for a while friends so please don't be offended if I don't return your messages. Be safe. God bless you all!"
Streets believes Hawkins posted the statement in retaliation for investigative work he performed in another case, according to court filings. That lawsuit, filed by Brittany Mae Keene, 19, accuses Hawkins of charges named in a 15 count indictment, including unlawful arrest, excessive force, civil conspiracy and sexual assault. Hawkins has denied the allegations in the Keene lawsuit. Streets alleges that Hawkins' statements were made with "evil design", for a malicious purpose, and with the intent to cause actual harm to Streets.
Streets is suing Hawkins for defamation and outrage. Court documents indicate that Streets demands a jury trial.
The Harrison County Sheriff's Department arrested Streets in an unrelated case in May 2013. Streets was arrested with Wheeling attorney Paul Harris, who was hired to represent former Shinnston Police Officer Kevin Junkins after his 2011 arrest. Paul Harris is listed as Brittany Keene's attorney in the lawsuit she filed against Hawkins. Streets was charged with intimidation of a witness, threats in official and political matters, obstruction of an officer, and conspiracy.