Commission leaves Community Corrections with Randolph County

The Pocahontas County Commisssion in session on Septembe 2, 2014. Left to right: Commissioners Jamie Walker, David Fleming and William Beard.
The Pocahontas County Commission in session on September 2, 2014. Left to right: Commissioners Jamie Walker, David Fleming and William Beard.

Pocahontas County Community Corrections is currently partnered with the Randolph County Community Corrections program – an arrangement that will not be changed for the time being.

During Tuesday’s Pocahontas County Commission meeting, Commissioner David Fleming said he put Community Corrections on the agenda in order to approve a letter to state officials, thanking them for grant money for the Community Corrections program.

Sheriff David Jonese said he thought the Commission was going to consider realigning the Pocahontas County program with Greenbrier County.

“Judge [James] Rowe had specifically asked that we put this on there,” said Jonese. “Moving from Randolph County to Greenbrier County, that’s why I thought we had it on there.”

Fleming said he had received no request from a judge to consider realignment.

“At this point, I think it jeopardizes our existing partnership we have,” said Fleming. “I, for one, am happy with the work we have, the relationship we have with Randolph County.”

“He’s probably going to put it back on the agenda to come talk about this,” said Jonese. “He’d prefer to have it in his circuit, because there are variations between the two programs in the different circuits.”

Pocahontas and Greenbrier counties comprise the 11th Judicial Circuit. Randolph County is in the 20th Judicial Circuit.

Chief Deputy David Walton, President of the Pocahontas County Community Corrections Board, said both local judges want the change made.

“Judge Rowe advised me that he and Judge [Robert] Richardson both would request that the program be moved from Randolph County to Greenbrier County,” he said. “He said that it would give the program more stability if it remained within the judicial circuit, and that Pocahontas County Community Corrections program is the only program that’s not actually in its own judicial circuit.”

Officials stated satisfaction with the existing partnership with Randolph County.

“It’s been a good working relationship,” said Fleming. “It’s worked out well for the county. The county commissions between Pocahontas and Randolph are in touch on this. We agree that we’ve had good service, a good program. There’s no formal request here from the judge to change anything.”

Magistrate Carrie Wilfong said the partnership with Randolph County did not create problems with her cases.

“I do a lot of my sentencing through Day Report,” she said. “I do have individuals in Pocahontas and Randolph counties. Yes, they do have their own rules for each county, but I don’t see where it’s conflicting with any of their sentencing. If someone does violate or anything, Erin [Golden] or Tammie [Alderman] contact me on my sentencing. But I don’t see where it’s affecting my sentencing, at all – the disposition of the case. Greenbrier County will have a whole complete different set of rules as Pocahontas County, the same as Randolph County. It really does not matter where the disposition is.”

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” Wilfong added.

“That’s kind of how I feel about it right now,” said Fleming.

The Commission approved sending a letter to state officials, expressing thanks for funding and stating the Commission’s satisfaction with the Randolph County partnership.

In other business, the County Commission:
– Accepted a bid of $98,900 from Master Service Mid-Atlantic, of Elkins, for installation of a 125 kilowatt emergency generator at Marlinton Middle School.
– Approved a lease for $250 per month, not including garbage collection, for Dawn’s Pet Grooming in the Hanover Building.
– Approved adding emergency volunteer insurance coverage through the County Risk Pool, at a cost of $235 per year.
– Took no action on a request to re-open the side door and back door of the Courthouse.
– Received a letter stating opposition to the proposed Dominion gas pipeline in northern Pocahontas County.
– Approved an annual financial statement, which will be published in The Pocahontas Times.

The next regular County Commission meeting is scheduled for September 16 at 5:30 p.m.

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