Hospital official: Merritt improving

PARKERSBURG – The condition of Wood County Sheriff Ken Merritt has been upgraded.

Merritt was in good condition at Camden Clark Medical Center’s Memorial Campus Monday, Camden Clark spokesman Tim Brunicardi said.

“He went from stable to good condition overnight,” said Brunicardi. “Looks like everything is going to be all right.”

Chief Deputy M.K. Smith said while Merritt remains in the hospital, he appears to be in good spirits.

“He is still in the hospital, but doing well and resting comfortably,” Smith said. “He has talked with many of us and seems like he is in good spirits.”

Smith declined to provide specifics as to why Merritt was taken from his home to the hospital Sunday by ambulance following a medical call, but did confirm he will likely remain out of the office for a while.

“A group of us from the department will go up to visit him later (Monday) to see how he is doing,” Smith said.

It is unknown how long Merritt will remain in the hospital or how long he will be off work.

“We will keep things running while he is gone, for as long as he is gone,” Smith said.

Monday marked Smith’s first day as chief deputy. Former Chief Deputy Shawn Graham retired effective Monday and will become the new chief of police in Williamstown.

While the sheriff is out, the chief deputy is in charge of the department.

“It has been an interesting way to begin my new position,” Smith said.