Martinsburg — It took more than a year, but former Democrat State Senator John Unger has stepped down as a Berkeley County magistrate.
The resignation, reported by the Martinsburg Journal, came after Unger accepted employment as one of the newest faculty members at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College. He continues to serve as an adjunct professor at Shepherd University, the paper said. Unger will also continue serving as pastor and priest for three churches in Harpers Ferry.
The decision to step down as magistrate and move into his new role is one that was inspired from a time, even before Unger was in the West Virginia Senate, he told the Journal.
Unger’s initial appointment as a magistrate, following his lengthy tenure in the Senate, was controversial. When he was appointed, Wood County Republican Party Chair and activist Rob Cornelius filed complaints.
With Unger receiving the magistrate salary current at the time of his appointment, Cornelius maintained that Unger violated state law since he had voted for a magistrate pay raise while in the Senate.
While Cornelius’ charges appeared valid, no action to remove Unger followed.
The Journal article appeared as more of a puff piece concerning Unger and did not examine the controversy surrounding his appointment as magistrate.
Unger said he had long aspired to be involved in education and felt the position had now allowed him to fulfill his goals in that regard.