Fields appointed interim sheriff

KINGWOOD — During their Tuesday meeting, Preston County commissioners appointed Jim Fields as the interim sheriff to fill the vacancy left by the death of  Paul “Moe” Pritt.  

The term ends Dec. 31. Earlier this month, commissioners met in an emergency session and appointed Fields as temporary successor to Pritt. That appointment was not to exceed 30 days, or until an interim replacement could be found. 

 Pritt died May 13 at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. He was running unopposed for reelection in the recent Primary Election. 

 Fields is not new to law enforcement. He spent 10 years as a conservation officer and then came to Preston County as chief deputy under Sheriff Jim Liller. 

 He was elected sheriff in 1988, serving   until 1996. After that, he became chief of Law Enforcement for the Division of Natural Resources until 2006. He then spent until 2011 working security for Allegheny Energy. 

 In 2011, Fields was once again appointed chief deputy, and in 2012 he was appointed sheriff after Sheriff Dallas Wolfe resigned. 

 In other business from Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners signed a resolution brought to them by LaDeana Teets, Preston County Farm Protection Board Program director. Teets asked commissioners to sign the resolution in support of the Voluntary Farmland Protection Act. She said the bill, if passed, would end the perpetual easement process in West Virginia and make the easements last for only a 25-year period. 

 Teets told commissioners the board would be adding another 141 acres to the project, bringing the acreage up to approximately 1,500 acres. 

 Commissioners also: 

  • approved an IT service contract with GST for $39,360 per year. 
  • approved a contract with Jarrett Construction for work on the  
  • court reconstruction for $564,233. The reconstruction will provide space for a second circuit judge and an additional courtroom as mandated by the state. 
  • voted to reappoint Rodney Kiser to a six-year term as a board member on PSD 1, and Robert Metheny to a six-year term on Preston County Sewer Public Service Board. Both are six-year terms retroactive from Feb. 1 of this year. 

There will be no meeting of the Preston County Commission on June 10.