UPDATE: (5:25 P.M. Monday, Oct. 31, 2022) – Putnam County officials are releasing more details after a commissioner sent in his resignation letter on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.
Putnam County Prosecutor Mark Sorsaia says he was made aware that Ron Foster was registered to vote in another state and was allegedly not willing to resign from his position last Thursday.
According to Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood, Bedford County Elections Commission in Shelbyville, Tennessee forwarded a notification to the Putnam County Clerk’s Office that Foster had registered to vote in their county on Sept. 7, 2022. This would cancel his voter registration in Putnam County, West Virginia.
Sorsaia also says this would make Foster ineligible to remain a Putnam County Commissioner.
“The state code requires him to live in Putnam County and we legally couldn’t justify salary and benefits for two more months,” Sorsaia told 13 News Monday.
Sorsaia then filed a petition in Putnam County Circuit Court for Foster’s removal.
However, on Monday, Foster sent out a release saying he “sent a letter of resignation… on Friday October 28, 2022.”
Also in the release, Foster says he “discussed the issue with the Secretary of State’s Office on Friday to determine his eligibility to maintain the office. After the discussion he turned in the resignation effective November 1, 2022.”
Putnam County Manager Jeremy Young confirmed that Foster submitted his resignation.
Sorsaia tells WOWK he “was not made aware until today that he resigned” and “the petition that was filed against him will be dropped… The issue is resolved as far as I’m concerned. I regret that we had to go through this, but I felt like I didn’t have a choice.”
Regarding the time he’s spent so far accepting salary and benefits as a commissioner while also being a registered voter in Tennessee, Sorsaia says he will be discussing this with the County Commission and will possibly go to the State Auditors Office for their opinion on the matter.
So far, this item has not been discussed and no decisions have been made.
Foster did not comment on the petition being dropped.
PUTNAM COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The Putnam County Commission has received a letter of resignation from one of its own.
Putnam County Commissioner Ron Foster said he sent in his letter of resignation on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022 to the Putnam County Commission. According to Foster, he is moving to Tennessee as his term in office ends. He was defeated in the primary election this year.
Foster says he has already registered to vote at his new address, and after discussing the matter with the Secretary of State’s Office, learned this makes him ineligible to remain in office.
His resignation becomes effective Nov. 1, 2022.