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Commissioner criticized by ex-assistant prosecutor

April 08, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Former Assistant Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Cassell lashed out at Jefferson County Commissioner Jim Surkamp Thursday after Surkamp placed an item on the commission's agenda which referred to "legal ethics" and Cassell.

The discussion involved a court case that is referred to as the Kletter case.

Among other issues, the Kletter case affected the interpretation of Jefferson County's zoning ordinance, Cassell said.

Cassell represented the Jefferson County Board of Zoning Appeals in the Kletter case while he was working in the Jefferson County prosecutor's office.

Cassell took exception to the way the item was placed on the agenda, particularly since it had his name connected with ethical questions.

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"I will not tolerate these matters at all," Cassell said during the commission meeting.

During the meeting, Cassell referred to Surkamp as someone who acts like a "spoiled child when he has been denied his way."

After the meeting, Cassell said Surkamp insists he gets his way. Anyone who disagrees with him gets attacked, Cassell said.

Surkamp said after the regular county commission meeting Thursday that he put the issue on the agenda because he had a "procedural question" to ask about the matter.

Surkamp said there was "nothing incendiary" about his intent.

"I asked a question. Never a complaint. It's a question of fact," Surkamp said during the meeting.

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