2 Jefferson County commissioners prepare for court hearing after arrests

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (DC News Now) — Two members of the Jefferson County Commission were served arrest warrants which is grinding the wheels of government to a halt.

West Virginia State Police made the arrests at the courthouse earlier this week.

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Commissioners Tricia Jackson and Jennifer Krouse refused to attend commission meetings because they rejected the choice of the county Republican executive committee to fill a vacant commission seat. That decision left some residents confused.

“I don’t understand,” Albert Buscher, a Jefferson County resident, said. “If they’re not happy with any of the candidates for the vacancy, you just show up.”

Without a quorum, no county business could be conducted. Grant deadlines were missed, contracts were left unsigned and job vacancies were unfilled.

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“It has been failure to do their elected duty,” said Steve Stolipher, commission president. “If they don’t want to take this job seriously they probably should not have run for public office in the first place.”

Stolipher has been frustrated by the gridlock in county services.

“They put this county in a real predicament last fall,” Stolipher said. “Our 911 services could have failed.”

Commissioners Jackson and Krouse, who collected their pay while boycotting meetings, referred inquires to legal counsel, who did not want to comment when DC News Now reached out.

“It’s amazing in local government now,” Buscher said. “People always walking out, not showing up, all the protests. You’re an elected official, show up.”

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In a statement posted to Facebook, Jackson said there are 42 misdemeanor charges relating to her and Krouse’s protests and absence at commission meetings late last year.

“I will not run from this fight, and I will never stop fighting for Jefferson County and the great state of West Virginia. To be clear, I will not resign from the county commission, and I will not drop out of the race for state auditor,” the commissioner’s statement said in part.

Both commissioners are expected in court on March 26.

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