Harrison County BOE Votes to Investigate BOE-Elect's Eligibility - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Harrison County BOE Votes to Investigate BOE-Elect's Eligibility

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Last week, challengers Mike Daughterty, Frank Devono, Jr., and Kristin Messenger beat incumbents David Sturm and Allen Gorrell in the race for Harrison County Board of Education, but the battle isn't over just yet.

Daugherty is currently a police officer for the city of Clarksburg, and BOE attorney Bill Ford said he believes there's a conflict of interest.

Ford cited the 2009 West Virginia Supreme County case Bridgeport vs. Matheney and recommended that the Board file a declaratory judgement so circuit court can make a decision if the case does apply to this situation. 

Ford said he believes it does.

After going into executive session, the BOE voted 3-1 to hire legal representation to look into the matter. Gorrell recused himself from the discussion and the vote.

Daugherty's attorney, Jerry Blair, was not in attendance at the BOE meeting on Tuesday night but did issue the following letter to Ford on behalf of his client:

"Pursuant to our conversation this morning regarding the status of Board Member-elect Michael Daugherty being on the agenda tonight for the Harrison County Board of Education's meeting, please be advised that we contest the authority and standing of the current Board to consider the same or take any action regarding the same. Further, we believe that police officers still have fundamental and constitutional rights to freedom of speech and to seek and hold elected public office, and do not abdicate those rights when they put their lives on the line for the public on a daily basis. One of the most sacred fundamental rights of Americans is the ability to seek and hold elected public office. The voters of Harrison County have spoken very loudly, and we have no intention of of allowing their voices to be silenced, and will, therefore, resist every effort taken to nullify their votes. I will serve as Mr. Daugherty's local counsel on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police."

Ford said the matter will be dropped if Daugherty resigns from the police force.
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