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Jefferson County to appoint replacement for ex-sheriff

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- The Jefferson County Commission will appoint a Democrat to replace disgraced former sheriff Robert Shirley rather than hold a special election.

Shirley is awaiting sentencing for violating the civil rights of a bank robber beaten after a 2010 police chase. No date had been set on Wednesday. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

The Herald-Mail ( says a state Attorney General's office ruling this week settles a debate over how to fill the post.

The commission must appoint someone to serve until the 2014 general election. The winner would then fill Shirley's unexpired term, which will end in 2016.

Shirley was re-elected in November even as he faced federal charges.

He resigned in January after pleading guilty in the criminal case. A civil lawsuit is pending.


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