Attorney hired to handle drug cases

Come July 1, Randolph County will have a new weapon in its arsenal to fight drug use and violent crime within its borders.

The Randolph County Commission approved the hiring of attorney Richard Shryock as the county’s new assistant prosecuting attorney at its regular meeting Thursday.

Shryock – who currently works as a private practice lawyer at McNeer, Highland, McMunn & Varner in Elkins – will focus specifically on prosecuting cases involving drugs and violent crime. At the request of Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker, the commission approved funding for the position at a county budget meeting in March.

“The commission graciously worked with my budget to allow me to hire a new attorney, so we advertised in the local paper and we had an applicant not too far from home,” Parker said of Shryock. “He has an extensive amount of criminal law experience, and helped me greatly when I first started in the practice of law, answering many, many of my questions.

“I think it’s tremendous this county has an opportunity to hire someone with (Shryock’s) credentials,” Parker added.

County Commissioner Mike Taylor said Parker had made a “wise choice” in selecting Shryock.

“Not unlike many other counties in the state, we have had increased problems with drug crimes, and I think this is a step in the right direction to help with that,” Taylor remarked, also commending law enforcement for their work in apprehending perpetrators of drug-related crimes.

Shryock, who will be paid $60,000 plus full benefits, will step into the full-time position July 1, joining Parker and two assistant prosecuting attorneys, Christina Harper and Lori Gray.

However, this won’t be the first time Shryock has worked for the Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney’s office: he served a stint as an assistant county prosecuting attorney from 2002 to 2005, according to McNeer, Highland, McMunn & Varner’s website.

Also at Thursday’s county commission meeting:

  • Kurt Gainer, head of the Randolph County EMS, said the agency faced “multiple ambulance deficiencies” in the county over Memorial Day weekend.

“We’re working to get them corrected,” Gainer said. Only five of the nine ambulances in the county are functional due to a variety of mishaps from collision with a deer to “complete catastrophic engine failure,” Gainer said following the meeting. The Randolph County EMS maintains units in Elkins, Harman and Mill Creek.

  • The commission approved a funding request from the Randolph County Special Olympics in the amount of $2,000. The money will cover the cost of coordinating and executing the organization’s summer games, among other special events.
  • The commission approved the reappointment of three people – Del. William Hartman, D-Randolph, Tom Williams and Bonnie Serrett – to the Randolph County Development Authority’s board of directors for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2013 and ending June 30, 2016.
  • The commission appointed Jessica Arbogast, the new executive director of the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, to the Region VII Development Council’s board of directors. Arbogast will fill the vacancy left behind by former ERCCC director Kate Reed.

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