Upshur County Prosecuting Attorney David Godwin / photo courtesy Robbie Skinner

Commission discusses two options for replacing retiring Upshur County Prosecuting Attorney David Godwin

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission laid out a timeline for appointing someone to take over for Upshur County Prosecuting Attorney David Godwin, who is retiring at the end of November.

At Thursday’s weekly commission meeting, president of the Upshur County Commission, Sam Nolte, said they have two options.

“We could appoint someone temporarily for up to 30 days or we could appoint someone until the end of Dave’s term, which would be Dec. 31, 2020,” Nolte said. Godwin’s retirement letter was submitted to the commission at Thursday’s meeting under informational items.

County Administrator Carrie Wallace said either the temporary or permanent appointment would begin Dec. 1 at 12:01 a.m. She noted the appointment would need to be made at the commission’s Nov. 21 meeting or at a special meeting.

“They have to appoint someone at some time prior to that Nov. 30 date at midnight, and they don’t have a meeting on Nov. 28 because it is Thanksgiving, so if they do it during a regular meeting, it will be on Nov. 21. However, of course, they could call a special meeting for any other day,” Wallace said.

Wallace said whoever is appointed will need to be a member of the same political party as Godwin, and he is a registered Republican.

Commissioners did not decide Thursday as to whether they’ll make a 30-day appointment or one that would extend to the end of Godwin’s term. Wallace said the agenda item would be placed on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, Oct. 31.

“The 30 days is there to allow the office to continue to operate,” she explained in an email Friday, noting a few different scenarios could occur.

“It could work out a few different ways,” Wallace said. “They could immediately appoint a permanent replacement; they could appoint a temporary and then appoint the same person permanently; or they could appoint a temporary and then appoint someone else as the permanent.”

Nolte also said the commission appreciated Godwin’s work as prosecuting attorney and that he was an asset to Upshur County.

“He has over 40 years of experience I believe, and he was a big asset to Upshur County,” Nolte said.

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