Pastilong eyeing post as DMV chief
A former West Virginia University athletic director is interested in leading the state's Division of Motor Vehicles.
Ed Pastilong, who led WVU's athletic program for 21 years, said he would like to lead the DMV.
"It was suggested to me," Pastilong said in a telephone interview Monday. "I would be interested if those making the appointment felt my presence would be beneficial to West Virginia."
Pastilong is said to have support from several people, including the head of the state's auto dealers trade group.
If chosen, Pastilong would replace DMV Commissioner Joe Miller, whose departure has yet to be announced. There has been talk of the 77-year-old Miller retiring. An announcement by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office is expected in coming days or weeks.
Ruth Lemmon, president of the West Virginia Automobile and Truck Dealers Association, said Pastilong would make an excellent choice.
"When somebody asked me about it, I said I thought he would be excellent," Lemmon said after she was called about her support for Pastilong.
She said she got a "couple calls" from the Capitol about the coming vacancy at the DMV.
Tomblin has yet to make a decision, spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin said Monday afternoon.
"The governor will make an announcement on his own time," Goodwin said.
The automobile dealers association is one of the interest groups that most frequently interact with the DMV over a number of issues.
Lemmon also said deputy DMV commissioner Steven Dale would make a "great commissioner."
Dale is a veteran of the DMV, a key adviser to several commissioners and gets credit from for helping to run the agency.
He did not return a call seeking comment.
Morgantown real estate mogul Perry Petroplus is also said to be backing Pastilong for the position. Questions about that through a spokeswoman were not answered on Monday.
But Lemmon said she and Petroplus were both friends of Pastilong.
Asked about Pastilong's qualifications to lead the agency, Lemmon pointed to his time at WVU.
There, Pastilong oversaw more than 100 employees.
DMV has about 590 full-time employees, according to the state budget and the DMV's 2011 annual report.
Miller has served as commissioner since January 2009, when then-Gov. Joe Manchin appointed him to succeed Joe Cicchirillo.
This is the second time Miller, an ex-Marine, has served as head of the division. The late Gov. Cecil Underwood appointed him in September 1997 to succeed Jane Cline. He served until 2001, when then-Gov. Bob Wise appointed Roger Pritt.
Current WVU athletic director Oliver Luck replaced Pastilong in 2010, though Pastilong had a two-year status as athletic director emeritus.
In late November 2012, West Liberty University announced it had hired Pastilong as a special consultant tasked with helping the university raise money, something he was known for during his time at WVU.