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Three to be interviewed for Jefferson County sheriff position

The appointee will serve until the next county election in November 2014

February 27, 2013|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Peter Dougherty, president of the Jefferson County Board of Education; Steven V. Groh, an assistant county prosecutor, and retired Charles Town Police Chief Louis Brunswick will be interviewed next week by the Jefferson County Commission in the county’s quest to replace ousted Sheriff Bobby Shirley.

Each will be interviewed Tuesday morning in the commissioners’ meeting room below the Charles Town Library. The interviews will be open, but public comment won’t be accepted, Commission President Dale Manuel said.

Dougherty, Groh and Brunswick were picked from a list of 16 applicants. Groh’s wife, Gina Groh, is a U.S. District Court Judge in Martinsburg.

Shirley pleaded guilty Jan. 14 to a federal civil rights violation for beating a bank robbery suspect following a high-speed pursuit in December 2010. He was elected to a second-four year term in November, but was forced to resign as a part of his plea agreement. His sentence date is pending. Shirley faces a maximum 10-year federal sentence in federal prison.

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The appointee will serve until the next county election in November 2014. That election will decide who will fill out the remainder of Shirley’s term through 2016.

Chief Deputy Jesse W. Jones is serving as the department’s interim manager.

Among the applicants were former two-term Sheriff Everett “Ed” Boober, whom Shirley defeated in the May 2012 Democratic primary, and retired Jefferson County Deputy Earl Ballenger, the Republican Shirley beat in the November general election.

Some of those who sent in applications were existing or retired police officers in local and area agencies.

Walter Smallwood III of Kearneysville, W.Va., is a retired 2nd lieutenant with the Fairfax (Va.) City Police Department; Kenneth Mills of Kearneysville, is a retired lieutenant with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department; Sgt. Ronald Fletcher of Charles Town, currently serves in the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department; Gerald W. Koogle Sr., of Charles Town, is an 18-year veteran in the Frederick (Md.) Police Department and Willard L. Liston, of Charles Town, is a retired Montgomery County, Md., police officer.

Also applying were David Tabb of Harpers Ferry, Francis P. Casto of Charles Town and Clifford Taylor of Kearneysville.

Three women were on the list including Karen Starr Manuel-Gregoryk of Charles Town, an airline flight attendant; Mimi Rogers of Shepherdstown, W.Va., a government contractor; and Amanda Piatt of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., a sales associate with Victoria’s Secret in Frederick, Md.

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