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Jim Humphrey appointed to fill Smith's remaining term

August 31, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Former Berkeley County Magistrate Jim Humphrey was appointed by 23rd Judicial Circuit Chief Judge David H. Sanders to complete the unexpired term of Magistrate W. Randy Smith, who decided to resign from the bench after winning the $79 million Powerball jackpot last month.

Humphrey, 59, of Martinsburg, will start Sept. 13, Sanders said Tuesday.

Sanders said Humphrey did a good job as magistrate after he was appointed to the bench in 2005 by Circuit Judge Gray Silver III.

Sanders said he felt confident that the former magistrate could "hit the ground running."

He said the West Virginia Secretary of State's office indicated that Humphrey would not have to run for election to hold the seat until 2012, when Smith's four-year term expires.

Humphrey said in a telephone interview Tuesday evening that he submitted a letter of interest and a resume last week, soon after learning that Smith intended to resign. In a short memo faxed to Sanders' office Friday, Smith made his resignation effective on Labor Day.

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Humphrey will return to the same office he held until the end of 2008. That year, the retired West Virginia State Police trooper was defeated in his bid for re-election by Smith and four incumbent magistrates.

Smith was serving his second term as sheriff when he ran for magistrate.

In July 2005, Humphrey was appointed to replace Kristy Dyroff, who resigned the previous month after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of false swearing. In 2006, Humphrey was elected to complete the unexpired term.

"It's a job that I really love to do," Humphrey said. "I feel like I'm really contributing back to the people."

While there is "no glory" in being a magistrate, Humphrey said his experience in the position generated a level of satisfaction that he had not found since his days as a trooper.

"It's a meaningful type of position," Humphrey said.

Humphrey said he will take a pay cut upon leaving his contracted security job at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advanced Training Center near Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Berkeley County's five magistrates are paid $50,000 per year, according to state code.

Humphrey said he intended to retain the services of Smith's assistant, Mary Angelo, who previously worked with him and Dyroff.

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