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Paugh appointed Berkeley Co. magistrate

October 21, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

A former West Virginia State Police sergeant and current criminal investigator with the state Tax Department soon will become Berkeley County's newest magistrate.

Scott E. Paugh officially was named Monday as the successor to Magistrate Carlton "Cootsie" DeHaven, whose last day on the job is Dec. 15. DeHaven is leaving after three years as a magistrate.

Paugh, 42, said he learned about two weeks ago that he was named DeHaven's successor. He was one of several people who applied for the job.

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"It was something that I've been interested in for some time," Paugh said. "I'm looking forward to it. It's a new challenge."

A good magistrate, he said, approaches each case with no bias and doesn't lean toward one side or the other.

"You have to rule fairly and impartially based on the evidence that's presented," Paugh said.

Paugh holds an associate's degree in police science from Marshall University and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Fairmont (W.Va.) State College.

Chief Circuit Judge David Sanders appointed Paugh to fill the magistrate position.

"Mr. Paugh is very familiar with the workings of the magistrate court system locally, and can bring the qualities of competence, experience, integrity, common sense and compassion to the demanding role of magistrate," Sanders wrote in his administrative order.

Because magistrates are elected, after he finishes DeHaven's term, Paugh will have to seek the position through election, including in May's primary.

Paugh retired from the state police after he was seriously injured in a head-on collision on May 29, 2002.

Paugh was heading home on Golf Course Road when a man fleeing from another police officer hit Paugh's cruiser. The other driver was found guilty of several charges earlier this year and is serving time in prison.

As a result of the wreck, Paugh had a depressed skull fracture, which punctured his brain, and needed plates and screws to reconstruct the area around his left eye. He also suffered injuries to his hip and arm, along with multiple cuts. He suffers from double vision, but said that permanent injury will not affect his ability to work as a magistrate.

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