Hamlin, W.Va. – The political atmosphere in Lincoln County has led to its first official casualty.
Confirming speculation that had floated for weeks, Lincoln Magistrate Kim Lovejoy Clayton resigned her position at 4:30 p.m., Friday, February 3.
Although short on detail in her letter of resignation, Clayton made it clear why she is leaving.
“After much consideration, relating to events that have occurred that have been politically motivated, unethical, and violations of Judicial Rule,” Clayton wrote. “I am resigning as Lincoln County Magistrate effective November 2, 2024, at 4:30 p.m.”
She continued, “I love my job and have been honored to serve the people of Lincoln County.”
Clayton then maintained that the events of recent days has caused her to fear for her personal safety.
“I requested protection and was denied by the Lincoln County Sheriff,” Clayton charged.
“Judge (Jay) Hoke issued a letter of heightened alert that received no response from the Lincoln County Commission,” the former Magistrate wrote.
“The political climate has made me fear for my safety and life,” Clayton went on.
In conclusion, she wrote, “I truly appreciate all those who have supported me as I did my best to fulfill my duties as Magistrate of Lincoln County.”
Clayton had been the focal point of some social media posts that questioned her honesty and integrity.
Scattered protests had accompanied the social media accusations although specific charges were not cited against her.
Clayton, who did not file to seek re-election this year, is a former Lincoln County coach and school administrator.
This is a developing story that will be updated as events occur.