CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A former state DHHR supervisor pleaded guilty Monday to lying to federal investigators looking into covid spending.

Timothy Priddy

Timothy Priddy, 49, of Milton, admitted he lied to an FBI agent. He pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement. He was originally charged with four counts.

U.S. Attorney for Southern West Virginia Will Thompson said Priddy could have avoided getting in trouble.

“Tell the truth,” Thompson said. “You learn that in preschool. Tell the truth when asked especially when federal investigators are asking you.”

Thompson said specifically, Priddy told investigators he only approved invoices from a large covid test kit provider in connection with K-12 testing kits once the invoices were verified by two other state workers. He admitted in court Monday that wasn’t the truth.

Thompson said Priddy certified the K-12 testing program invoices without making any effort to verify their accuracy.

Will Thompson

“If he would have simply told us he was too busy and he didn’t have time to do it that would have been a totally different result for him and probably would have been understandable under the conditions of covid, but no, he doubled down and lied about it,” Thompson said.

Thompson said Priddy was first interviewed in connection with a larger investigation into the test kit purchases. He said Priddy’s decision not to tell the truth has all but deflated that investigation.

“It’s not completely closed but it’s probably not going to go a lot further. His involvement in not telling the truth really curtailed our investigation quite a bit,” Thompson said.

Thompson said there’s no indication Priddy was getting a kickback from suppliers.

“We looked into that quite a bit to see if there was any type of financial gain on his part. We don’t think there was any. It’s simply that if he would have told the truth he would have been a witness for us instead of a defendant.”

Priddy faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on May 9.