EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSKim Blair Named As Temporary Magistrate In Mingo County
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Oct. 10, 2013 2:21 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 10, 2013 6:45 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Benjamin has named former Putnam County magistrate Kim Blair as a temporary magistrate in Mingo County.
Blair will serve as a temporary magistrate after Dallas Toler resigned on Wednesday. Toler also was charged in a federal information that was released on Wednesday. He is accused of submitting fake voter registration applications. He resigned from his office as chief magistrate of Mingo County on Wednesday.
Putnam County Magistrate Kylene Brown said Blair was first elected to an unexpired two-year term as magistrate in 2002 and was elected to four-year terms in 2004 and 2008. She narrowly lost a re-election bid in 2012 and has since served as a senior status magistrate, traveling around the state and hearing cases, Brown said.
Blair will only serve as a magistrate in Mingo County on a temporary basis. Normally, the circuit judge in the county makes the appointment of a person to fill out the remainder of the term and take the reins from the temporary person. The circuit judge in the county, Michael Thornsbury, has resigned his seat, however, and recently pleaded guilty in a federal corruption case. Two senior status judges have been named to hear cases in Mingo County.
The office of the state Supreme Court administrator issued a legal opinion on whether a senior status judge could appoint someone to fill out the remainder of the magistrate term in Mingo. The office agreed the senior status judges could make the appointment, but the senior status judges declined because they did not feel comfortable making the decision since they are from outside of the county. As a result, a decision on who will fill out the rest of Toler’s term will have to wait until Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin names a circuit judge to serve the remainder of Thornsbury’s term. The circuit judge appointed by the governor will then make the final decision.
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