Pocahontas County Commissioners Postpone Major Personnel Decision

The agenda for the Special Pocahontas County Commission meeting on Thursday, June 25th, 2020 included following-up on the recommendation of the Pocahontas County Community Criminal Justice Board for the removal of the Pocahontas County Day Report Director, Daniel Arbogast.

At an Emergency Commission Meeting held on June 15th, the commissioners had suspended Arbogast with pay until July 1st while the Community Criminal Justice Board further investigated the unspecified allegations made against Arbogast.

At the June 25th meeting, which Commissioner Walt Helmick was unable to attend, however the two commissioners present met in executive session with County Prosecutor Eugene Simmons the only additional person allowed to be there.

Following this closed session, the commissioners returned to normal session and the commissioners indicated that they felt uncomfortable making any decision on this without having all three commissioners present. They also indicated that they received a resignation letter from Daniel Arbogast. They asked Simmons if it would be legal for them to not accept or reject Arbogast’s resignation until the next commission meeting on July 7th, and Simmons said that is ok, and he drafted a motion for the Commissioners to vote on at this meeting.

Commissioner Jessie Groseclose made the following motion:

“The Pocahontas County Commission has received this day a letter of resignation from Daniel Arbogast in his position as Pocahontas County Day Report Director, and after considering, same neither accepts or rejects to its said resignation but continues same until the next meeting of the Pocahontas County Commission. And further provides that his term of suspension was set to expire on July 1, 2020, and will be extended until July 7th, 2020 with pay. And the matter will be taken up again at the July 7th commission meeting, where we expect to have a full commission.”

That motioned passed.

In addition, the commissioners took up the issue of appointing an Interim Director of the Day Report Center. At the previous Emergency Meeting, the commissioners had appointed Day Report Officer Jeremy Hall as Interim Director until July 1st, however they indicated that Hall does not want to continue as Interim Director.  They therefore voted to appoint Madura Smith as the Interim Director until a permanent replacement director is chosen.

In other matters as this Special Meeting, the commissioners officially certified the results of the recent primary election. No election results were changed from the unofficial results published after the election.

They also approved several in-house budget revision and resolutions and ended the meeting by approving the final invoices for the 2019-2020 fiscal year which ends on June 30th.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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