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Judge Affirms Upshur County Commission's Decision on Sheriff's Dispute

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BUCKHANNON -

Judge Thomas Steptoe has affirmed the decision made by Upshur County Commission regarding David Taylor's election challenge for Upshur County sheriff.

That challenge is in regards to the eligibility of the winning primary candidate for Upshur County Sheriff, incumbent Chief Deputy Michael R. Kelley.

Steptoe said it was unclear whether the disqualification of deputies for political office in WV code 7-14-15a4 applied to chief deputies.

Steptoe relied on a 1975 advisory opinion to aid in his ruling.

Judge Steptoe did not rule on whether Chief Deputy Michael R. Kelley was subject to the federal Hatch Act, as determined by the federal Office of Special Counsel for Hatch Act investigations on June 21, 2012.

Taylor's attorney Charles Crooks said they respect the courts efforts. Crooks also said they're surprised and disappointed in this decision.

Taylor could still appeal to West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

To view Judge Steptoe's final order, click the link to the right of the story.