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Manuel to head W.Va. House Judiciary Committee

February 15, 2001

Manuel to head W.Va. House Judiciary Committee



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Del. Dale Manuel will leave his position as vice chairman of the House Education Committee and observers say there has been tension between Manuel and House Education Chairman Jerry Mezzatesta.

But lawmakers declined to comment on whether that might be related to Manuel's being named vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Manuel's new job is simply the result of a "domino effect" that happened following leadership changes this week in the Legislature in Charleston, W.Va., said Del. John Overington, R-Berkeley.

Manuel, D-Jefferson, was named vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee following a series of position changes that started when Del. Rick Staton, D-Wyoming, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was named majority leader by House Speaker Bob Kiss.

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Del. Jon Amores, D-Kanawha, was named to replace Staton as Judiciary Committee chairman and Manuel was chosen to take Amores' place on the Judiciary Committee.

There has been tension between Manuel and Mezzatesta because the two lawmakers have different ideas about what constitutes good education policy, said Del. John Doyle, D-Jefferson.

Overington agreed, but said, "That's between them."

Neither Mezzatesta nor Manuel could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Jefferson County Board of Education member Pete Dougherty said he would rather have Manuel in the House Judiciary Committee than in the House Education Committee because there are some issues important to Jefferson County that will have to go through the judiciary committee.

Proposals to make impact fees easier to implement and a proposal that would require teacher candidates to get background checks, something the board has supported, will have to go through the judiciary commitee, Dougherty said.

Doyle said Manuel's leadership change could be considered a promotion because the House Judiciary Committee is considered a "super major" committee.

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