Commission interviews for volunteer boards
by Jazz Clark
The Morgan County Commission is gearing up for the new Criminal Community Corrections Board by interviewing applicants with experience in criminal issues.
The Criminal Justice Board was created largely to apply for grants for additional funding and find alternate sentencing options for individuals to decrease the jail bill.
First up for an interview was Keith DeBlasio, who has lived in Morgan County since 2000.
He told the commissioners that his career in criminal justice started when he was sexually assaulted while incarcerated, which served as a catalyst to learning the legal system during his incarceration.
He said much of his background involved writing legislation and that he is involved in a civil case before the West Virginia Supreme Court at the moment.
Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson, his neighbor, recommended him.
Also up for consideration is Dale McConnell, who has had 10 years experience with the Maryland Division of Corrections, as well as five years commercial security, 17 with various fire departments and four with the U.S. Army.
“I just want to put my experience to work for the county,” McConnell said.
With Corrections, he has been Chief Union Steward and on the Secretary of Public Safety’s task force.
At least three more people have applied to be on the Criminal Justice Board. No one will be appointed until all interviews have been conducted.
Also interviewed at the meeting was Robert White, an applicant for the county’s Farmland Protection Board.
“Farmland protection is something I’ve become passionate about, especially since getting out of engineering survey where I destroyed a lot of farmland.” said White, a lifelong county resident.
An engineering consultant in the last few years, White said he has helped to protect over a thousand acres of land.
White was appointed on a motion by Commissioner Brad Close, who said, “He’s done just about everything.”
Phil Harmison and Thomas Hill were appointed to the Farmland Protection Board.