Winfield – Despite derogatory comments directed at a Charleston lawyer who said he has forfeited his office, Putnam County Commissioner Ron Foster may now know that the county prosecutor agrees with the anonymous lawyer.
This news site broke the story that Foster had registered to vote in Bedford County, Tennessee on September 7. This came some months after Foster lost his re-election bid to former Sheriff Steve Deweese in the Republican primary.
Despite being required to show Bedford officials proof that he is a Tennessee resident, Foster continued to function as a Putnam County Commissioner.
When this site broke news of his change of address, we cited three sections of State Code that appear to say one vacates a county commission office when he or she moves from the county.
Foster did not answer or return calls to his cell phone seeking comment but he told a constituent he intended to complete his term through December 31.
In an email to the constituent, Foster wrote, “I intend to legally serve out the balance of my term. This guy (the wvstatewide.com reporter) has his facts and ‘law’ confused. It would be my advice that no one should use the so called ‘Charleston attorney’ who is unnamed in the article for their case.”
But Friday, Putnam Prosecutor filed a petition before Circuit Judge Joe Reeder seeking Foster’s removal.
The petition asks Reeder to “issue an order to remove” Foster. It goes on to state that Foster has not been a resident of Putnam County since September 7 when he registered to vote in Tennessee.
“Nevertheless (Foster) has continued to vote on issues put before the Putnam County Commission and to collect the statutory salary of a duly elected Putnam County Commissioner since moving outside Putnam County, West Virginia.
Foster draws about $46,000 a year as a Putnam Commissioner. Commissioners are paid bi-monthly, meaning Foster has been paid at least three times since moving to Tennessee. He also has health insurance coverage through the county, the payroll department confirmed.
No hearing has been set on Sorsaia’s motion.
This is a developing story that will be updated as events occur.