Eighteen attorneys from the Kanawha County prosecutor's office spent three days at The Greenbrier in late January for a training session at a cost of about $4,400.
His attorneys are required to take 24 hours of continuing legal education every year to keep their law licenses valid, Prosecutor Mark Plants said.
The West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute held the three-day training session at the four-star resort on Jan. 23, 24 and 25, Plants said.
Prosecuting attorneys from around the state attended, he said.
Although the total bill amounted to 14 percent of the office's $30,000 travel and education budget, Plants said he tried to hold down the cost.
For example, the office paid $1,603 for gasoline used by the assistant prosecutors who drove to the conference, he said, but many of them traveled in groups.
"I don't know exactly how many car-pooled, but I do know that not everyone drove," he said.
He also did not reimburse his staff members for meals, and that saved the county about $2,070, Plants said.
Most county prosecutors pay for staff meals at the conferences.
"If they were at home, or here in the office working, we wouldn't have paid for their meals," Plants said. "I don't think the taxpayers should have picked that up."
The Greenbrier charged the attorneys $125 per night for rooms during the conference, he said. This is much lower than the typical rate at the state's premier resort, he said.
The Prosecuting Attorneys Institute charged $200 per attorney, Plants said.
"This is a necessary expense for my attorneys to practice law in the state," Plants said. "It's just the cost of doing business."
Typically the conferences are held at places like Stonewall Resort in Lewis County, Oglebay Resort and Conference Center in Wheeling, or Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort in Pocahontas County, Plants said.