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Clerk bought lunch at relative's business

July 08, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Clerk Jennifer Maghan said Thursday she does not see a problem with her decision to hire a company owned by her brother-in-law to provide lunch for about 155 poll workers during a special state election.

The cost of Maghan's effort to provide the lunch to the poll workers during the June 25 pension bond election resulted in a tense exchange of words between Maghan and county officials last Thursday during a Jefferson County Commission meeting.

Maghan wanted to pay the $1,952 bill for the meals from the county's voter registration fund.

During last Thursday's meeting, Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober said an official with the state auditor's office told him that the bill could not be paid with money from the voter registration fund.

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Boober was required to sign the check because he is the county treasurer, but he told the county commission last Thursday he did not sign the check because he was concerned he could be "party to something possibly illegal."

Maghan said the company that provided the meals, Renaissance Refinishing of Frederick, Md., is owned by her brother-in-law, B. Randall Maghan.

Maghan said she received three bids from companies to provide the food and Renaissance Refinishing was the lowest bid.

Maghan could not say who the other companies were because she did not have that information with her.

Maghan said she is not affiliated with Renaissance Refinishing and she did not see any conflict with her decision to use the company for the meals.

"I don't make any money off anything he does," Maghan said.

Maghan said she paid the bill with her own money, but wanted to be reimbursed for the meals from the voter registration fund.

Boober said Thursday that the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney's office currently is reviewing the matter to determine if the meals can be paid out of the county's general revenue fund.

County Commissioner Dale Manuel said Thursday he wished Maghan would have received prior approval from the state auditor's office to have the lunch provided to poll workers.

Maghan said she asked an official in the state auditor's office about paying for the meals out of the voter registration fund and the official said there was nothing in state law prohibiting that.

Manuel said a written opinion would have been helpful. He said he was sure the county prosecuting attorney would look into the issue of Maghan buying the lunch from a company owned by her brother-in-law.

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