Retired state trooper named to fill magistrate post

June 30, 2005|by CANDICE BOSLEY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - For the second time in recent years, a retired West Virginia State Police sergeant has been appointed to fill a vacant Berkeley County magistrate position.

James "Jim" Humphrey was appointed Tuesday to fill the seat formerly held by Kristy Dyroff, who resigned on Monday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of false swearing.

Humphrey will assume the seat on July 23.

In an order Chief Circuit Judge Gray Silver III wrote appointing Humphrey to the seat, Silver noted that several people had applied for the seat, even before Dyroff resigned.


"The Court was not lacking for good choices, and thereby Berkeley County has been well served," Silver wrote in the order.

Humphrey, who most recently was the chief correctional officer for the new Martinsburg Correctional Center, graduated from Mount Hope (W.Va.) High School and took undergraduate courses at Marshall University.

He was the commander of the State Police's Martinsburg barrack at the time of his retirement, and has more than 20 years of law enforcement experience.

Before taking the job with the correctional center, Humphrey worked as a bailiff, frequently in Magistrate Court.

"Mr. Humphrey 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," Silver wrote in the order.

Humphrey could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Humphrey is not the first magistrate to bring a State Police background to the position.

In October 2003, retired West Virginia State Police Sgt. Scott E. Paugh was appointed to fill a seat vacated by Carlton "Cootsie" DeHaven, who resigned to run for sheriff.

Paugh ran for the magistrate seat last November, but was defeated.

Because magistrates are elected, after he finishes Dyroff's term, Humphrey will need to seek the position in the 2008 election.

Humphrey ran an unsuccessful campaign for a magistrate seat in the 2000 election. He will replace Dyroff, one of the candidates who defeated Humphrey in that election.

As part of a plea bargain, Dyroff was forced to resign her seat and pay a $100 fine after pleading guilty to false swearing. She admitted that she lied under oath during a hearing in March concerning her ex-husband, who had been charged with battering the couple's teenage daughter.

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