Pocahontas County Magistrate Republican Candidates Participate In AMR Forum

Dunmore, WV – In order to inform the voters of Pocahontas County about candidates in the upcoming May 8th primary, Allegheny Mountain Radio is hosting a series of Meet the Candidates forums for various elected offices. On Saturday April 14th, we hosted two forums for the Republican and Democratic candidates for Magistrate. In this story we will hear from the Republican candidates.

There are four republican candidates vying for the office of Magistrate, Cynthia Broce-Kelley, Cheryl McCullough, Rebecca Morris Rabel, and Joel Srodes. The candidates were asked what they would do to ensure a cooperative working relationship between the Magistrates, law enforcement and the Prosecuting Atty’s office. Here is the response from Ms. Kelley.

“I believe the three could work together to the point that a magistrate is not there to set the trial or set the case and the fact,” says Broce-Kelley. “They are there only to hear, to be impartial and give everyone a fair trial or a fair shot at having their side heard. I believe that the Sheriff’s office and the magistrates office, they should work good together.”

Here is the response from Cheryl McCullough.

“I believe that the three entities can work together,” says McCullough. “From what I’ve observed in the last year and a half, where I’ve been in there watching and seeing what’s going on, there seems to be a lack of communication as well as a lack of training. There are some that are trained better than others; therefore when they bring their cases to the Magistrates or to the judges their cases are very well put together so they are able to be prosecuted and processed.”

“Some are not. The public does not understand that as a magistrate you can only deal with the facts that you are given. You cannot have what’s called ex parte communication which means other people coming to talk to you about the case. As a magistrate you cannot take that into consideration, only what’s presented.”

Next is Rebecca Morris Rabel.

“There’s not communication between the two parties currently,” says Rabel. “I think communication is very important with all of the entities involved. In terms of the magistrate’s office I believe that if you have a co-worker, instead of making accusations or accusing someone in the office of wrongdoing, maybe kind of check into it first, without going off on a tangent.”

“With the Sheriff’s office I wouldn’t discuss cases before they’re arrested. You have to have an amount of confidentiality so that you don’t become biased; I would not give legal advice to the general public. But I believe if you have respect for each office and and each person that holds that office and their authority and then with open communication you can work most things out.”

Finally, here is Joel Srode’s response to this question.

“Magistrates issue arrest warrants and search warrants; magistrates also do preliminary examinations for felony cases,” says Srodes. “The magistrate is the first level that an arrested person faces before they go into the rest of the criminal justice system. I think that magistrates should be very accommodating to law enforcement when it comes to issuing warrants and in the arraignment process.”

Look for the red,white and blue vote button on the Allegheny Mountain Radio homepage and follow the link to the video. Thanks to Geoff Hamill for producing the video of the forum.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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