Connect with us

Featured

Jefferson County Commissioners Arrested

Published

on

CHARLES TOWN – It’s safe to say March has come in more like a political lion than a lamb in Jefferson County.

As noon approached Tuesday, March 12, two elected County Commissioners were being held in Magistrate Court after having been arraigned on 42 charges each.

Commissioners Tricia Jackson and Jennifer Krouse were attempting to raise the $42,000 bond each to be released.

By around noon, the bail had been secured and the pair reportedly traveled to the State Police Detachment to have their mugshots processed.

All 42 charges are related to a 2023 refusal by the pair to attend Commission meetings.

Krouse and Jackson questioned the legality of replacement names submitted by the Jefferson Republican Executive Committee when Commissioner Clare Ath resigned.

The Commission President refused to honor the pair’s request that replacing Ath not be on the agenda until the legitimacy of the GOP candidates was verified.

President Stephen Stolipher refused their request and continued to list replacing Ath as an agenda item.

Advertisement

Interestingly, a courthouse source pointed out that if the two were found guilty of all the charges, the maximum fine would be $100 for each violation. That means the bond is ten times more than the possible penalty would be if they were found guilty on every count.

In what has been an ongoing political battle highlighted by various issues, including solar power plants, Krouse and Jackson apparently now represent a minority of the five Commissioners in their opposition to the solar “farms” being pushed by the other three members. As noted, there are other disagreements as well, highlighted by the membership replacement.

Jackson supporters also told a reporter that Delegate Eric Householder is involved “in this plot to get Tricia out of the Auditor’s race.”

Both Jackson and Householder are Republican candidates for State Auditor. Householder is said to be upset because he thinks, with both he and Jackson being from the Eastern Panhandle, that she will take votes from him in the May primary election, potentially costing Householder the nomination.

When Commissioner Ath resigned, Jackson and Krouse were aligned on the opposite side from the other two remaining Commissioners.

On the other side were Commissioners Stephen Stolipher and Jane Tabb. 

When President Stolipher insisted that the Commissioners appoint a replacement for Ath, Jackson and Krouse refused to attend some meetings. Their action prevented a majority to be on hand, thus denying a quorum to conduct business.

Eventually, a local judge,Bridget Cohee, ordered the pair to attend meetings, establishing a quorum and Pasha Majdi was named to the vacant position.

Advertisement

In the meantime, Prosecutor Matt Harvey filed paperwork, attempting to remove Krouse and Jackson from the Commission. That action is pending with a hearing set at the end of the month.

Krouse and Jackson have maintained that they were only doing what they could to prevent an “illegal” candidate from being selected.

Allegations have gone back and forth, with word reaching the courthouse Monday that Krouse and Jackson would be arrested Tuesday during a scheduled Commission budget meeting.

In fact, Jackson posted about the charges on social media. While saying she and Krouse had done nothing wrong, she vowed not to resign as a Commissioner. She added that she will remain in the Auditor race. 

After Commissioners arrived Tuesday for the budget meeting, a motion to adjourn was made and approved.

Courtroom observers said it was at that point that law enforcement officers entered the room and arrested Jackson and Krouse.

The complaints were issued by Corporal P.B. Butler and Detective R. Kerns. Both are assigned to the Martinsburg Detachment of the West Virginia State Police.

The 42 charges break down as seven counts of violating State Code 11-3-27, which has to do with erroneous assessments; seven counts of violating 3-10-7, covering vacancies in the County Commission or County Clerk positions; 21 counts of violating 61-10-31 which involves conspiracy against the state; and seven counts of 61-5-28, failure to perform official duties.

Advertisement

The prosecution alleges that the violations occurred between September 21 and November 16, 2023.

This is a developing story that will be updated as events warrant.

Author

  • Ron Gregory

    From Mayor of Glenville at age 26 to Assistant Mayor of Charleston, management of various public entities, and countless political races in West Virginia – Ron Gregory is the most noted political correspondent in the state.

From Mayor of Glenville at age 26 to Assistant Mayor of Charleston, management of various public entities, and countless political races in West Virginia - Ron Gregory is the most noted political correspondent in the state.

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Sue

    March 16, 2024 at 4:47 pm

    The information about the $100 fine per charge is incorrect. The fine per charge is $1000.00, therefore the bond for $42,000 corresponds direct to the charges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *