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Six Want Magistrate Job

October 21, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Ohio County voters will select from among six candidates for the four open magistrate seats.

All four current incumbents - Republican Joe Roxby and Democrats Harry Radcliffe, Charles Murphy and Patty Murphy - are on the ticket, joined by Republican Desiree Lyonette and Democrat Rose Humway.

- Roxby is a graduate of Wheeling Central Catholic High School and West Liberty State College. He is a retired Wheeling police lieutenant.

He said he brings education, experience and enthusiasm to the magistrate's office.

"I have a bachelor's degree in history from West Liberty State College and I am a graduate of the West Virginia State Police Academy. ... If you examine my personal history you will see that I've taken what I was taught at both of those fine institutions and used it professionally, and continued to grow and learn," he said.

"I had 25 years of local law enforcement experience on the streets of Wheeling, both as a patrol officer and a supervisor. ... During those years I had multiple opportunities to work at nearly every type a of crime scene that I might preside over as a magistrate. The ultimate job of the courts is conflict resolution. ... I believe I offer the citizens of Ohio County the best mix of 'book smart' and 'street smart.'"

- Lyonette is a lawyer who said she would bring a "fresh perspective" to the office.

"I know the people of Ohio County want energized, positive leadership in their Magistrate Court, and I'm the candidate with the credentials to get it done," she said.

"If elected I will be the first Republican woman, possessing a law degree, who has the education, training and experience completely different from every other candidate in the race, to serve as an Ohio County magistrate. ... This election, Ohio County residents have the power to vote for a magistrate who is unlike any other candidate."

Lyonette believes her experience as a lawyer and an associate professor of Criminal Justice give her an edge. "As the only candidate who has worked on behalf of a state, defended the accused, and represented parties in civil matters in a court of law, my background gives me a unique, independent and clear understanding of parties' positions."

- Radcliffe is a former police officer who was first elected in 2000 and is currently the chief magistrate as well as the juvenile referee for the Circuit Court of Ohio County.

"The added duties allow me to go into our schools and talk to children, parents and educators regarding the pitfalls of drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence in the household," he said. "My experience in office, 12 years, my education and certification ... sets me apart and guides me to fairness, impartiality yet allows me to lend a helping hand to those in the community that need protection."

- As a three-term magistrate, Charles Murphy said he has the experience, administrative skills and public know-how to warrant re-election as a magistrate.

"I very deeply appreciate my job," he said. "I am very grateful for the trust (the voters have) place in me for the last three elections and I will never violate your trust," he said. Murphy said he is always available to meet with the public. "I believe that as a public servant, I have to be available to the citizens at all times," he said. "A candidate for magistrate is very limited by law in what he or she can say in regards to many topics; however, I will say that I promise to continue to take each case one by one, consider the evidence or the lack of and rule accordingly."

- Patricia Murphy is completing her second term in office. Prior to that, she served as a magistrate's assistant from 1980-2004.

"I use the knowledge and experience gained as a magistrate assistant in my daily work, and the yearly training provided by the Supreme Court of Appeals in making me a well-rounded magistrate and a dedicated incumbent serving the people of Ohio County," she said.

She said she currently sits on the UJA Committee, which is a statewide new court computer program. In that capacity, she advises the programmers of the procedures and practices of the court to build a program that will be utilized by all courts. "The program is currently only in two counties, and I look forward for its inception in Ohio County."

- Humway, a former Ohio County magistrate, currently serves as a senior status magistrate in West Virginia. "I bring a depth of understanding to the (court) that has been developed throughout years of public service," she said.

During her career, she said she has presided over "42,000 criminal and civil matters as chief magistrate, magistrate and juvenile referee."

"(I) believe I have earned the respect of law enforcement, fellow members of the judiciary (and) legal professionals and believe it is an honor to serve the public and maintain the public trust," she said. "As to impartial decisions, I have delivered them with fairness and justice for all. My life has been dedicated to public service as magistrate and for the people of our community."

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