Hill said O'Hanlon took over the WVNET director's responsibilities after the former director stepped down and retired.
"His position is fairly unique in that he has a lot of varied responsibilities across the state," Hill said.
Since Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin took office, O'Hanlon has picked up another task. He is chairman of the Broadband Deployment Council, a job that would normally fall to Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette.
Besides the in-state travel, O'Hanlon also takes thousands of dollars in out-of-state trips to attend technology conferences. Those have included $3,800 for a trip to Las Vegas; $1,100 to go to La Jolla, Calif.; $1,600 to go to Baton Rouge, La.; and $2,200 to go to North Carolina.
O'Hanlon said several of those trips were to bring him up to speed on technology issues.
Former Higher Education Chancellor Brian Noland wanted O'Hanlon to focus on distance learning. O'Hanlon said Noland encouraged him to attend conferences on that topic.
The former judge, 64, said he would prefer not to travel so much.
"In your 60s, it's not nearly as exciting to stay away from home as many nights as I've had to in the last years," he said.
He said he tries to do as much as possible from a distance. On Tuesday, for instance, O'Hanlon said he had participated in four videoconferences with officials in Morgantown.
But he said sometimes he has to go to Morgantown to deal with WVNET issues.
"Unfortunately, for me, that's where the work needs to be done," said O'Hanlon, who was reached Tuesday at his number in Huntington. "I do as much of it as I can from Charleston, but I can't do all it from Charleston."
State law says most retired public employees who resume working for the state must give up their pension benefits if they are paid more than $15,000 a year. But there are ways around the restriction and it doesn't apply to judges.
O'Hanlon said his public salary wouldn't be an issue if he came to the state from the private sector and was drawing a private sector pension. Or, he said, his public pension wouldn't be an issue if he had left to work in the private sector.
Because of loopholes, Kanawha Circuit Judge Charles King, Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred Ferguson and Wyoming Circuit Judge Warren McGraw each draw a state pension while still working and earning full judicial salaries.
State Supreme Court Justice Thomas McHugh also draws retirement, but he has created an elaborate system to return money to the state from both his salary and pension checks to make sure the total amount he collects annually doesn't exceed the salary made by his four colleagues.
Asked why he draws a pension and doesn't attempt to forgo it like McHugh, O'Hanlon said he had earned it.
"I earned the pension; I worked 26 years to earn the pension," O'Hanlon said.