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County Commission Appoints Temporary Prosecuting Attorney

The Commission’s agenda for its Tuesday, July 25, meeting included discussion and possible decision to receive applications to fill the position of Prosecuting Attorney. The action was made necessary by the resignation of Mark Sorsaia who was scheduled to become the new West Virginia Secretary of Homeland Security effective August 1st.

The Commission appointed Thomas Kirk to be the temporary Prosecuting Attorney. Kirk is a former homeland security advisor to Governor Jim Justice and has served as superintendent of the West Virginia State Police. The appointment is good for thirty days. The Commission must appoint someone to finish out Sorsaia’s term before the end of the thirty-day window.

The Commission will conduct interviews of candidates to fill the vacancy at its August 8th and possibly at its August 29 meeting. The new full-time Prosecuting Attorney will be selected at the August 29 meeting.

In other action, the Commission voted to establish a Board of Directors for the Putnam County Animal Shelter. There will be a seven member board with a requirement that one member be a county commissioner, one have veterinarian experience, one have a financial background and one have experience in the legal field.

The vote to establish the Board of Directors was preceded by a public hearing which was intended to gather suggestions for the Board’s make up. The public hearing did not go as planned. The hearing produced numerous charges related to Animal Shelter personnel matters and no input on the make up of the Board of Directors. The Commission is conducting an investigation of Animal Shelter operation and does not address personnel issues in a public setting.

The meeting included a swearing-in ceremony for two new deputy sheriffs. Joshua McClure and Brayden Morris are now deputies and will become full members of the Sheriff’s Office after completing training at the State Police Academy in Fairmont. The State Police Academy in Cross Lanes is closed until a full review of its operation is completed.

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