Greenbrier County Commissioners Lowell Rose and Brad Tuckwiller voted Tuesday night in favor of renting extra office space for a Rupert magistrate, although both say the extra space is needed regardless of whether the Rupert satellite magistrate is relocated to downtown Lewisburg.

“Whether the move is approved or not by the circuit court judge,” Rose said, “we need to make a decision on renting the extra two offices.”

Rose said the offices are needed because Magistrate Doug Beard, who is the Rupert magistrate, also works weekends in Lewisburg, where the county’s other two magistrates are located.

“We need to tell the owner of the building so that he can rent it out or use the space for his own,” Rose said.

Commissioner Betty Crookshanks, who represents the western end of the county and has been adamantly opposed to the relocation of the Rupert office, argued that a state Supreme Court case in 1988 made it clear that the decision to relocate lies with the high court.

“The overall authority lies with the West Virginia Supreme Court,” Crookshanks said.

Tuckwiller reasoned that the vote on the floor was not about relocating the Rupert office.

“The issue before us is whether we are going to rent additional space,” Tuckwiller said. “No one is objecting to making this building the new main office.”

The motion for renting extra space, on the premise of Beard needing it for the weekends, passed 2-1, with Crookshanks voting no.

— E-mail: cgiggenbach@register-herald.com



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