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Smith, Paul Seek Ohio County Prosecutor Post

October 21, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith is facing a challenge for his office from Republican Worthy Paul.

- Smith, a Democrat, is completing his third term. He also served for eight years as an assistant prosecutor.

He said his experience in the prosecutor's office warrants re-election on Nov. 6.

"This experience sets me apart as I am familiar with all aspects of the prosecutor's office including trying cases and administrative duties," he said. "I have also developed very good working relationships with all law enforcement agencies in this area including the West Virginia State Police, Ohio County Sheriff's Department, and the Wheeling Police Department, Ohio Valley Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and federal agencies.

"I have participated in jury trials in a wide variety of cases including murder cases, robbery cases, sexual assault and" others. "I also have a lot of experience with forensic evidence ... which is becoming more important all the time."

- Paul said he will be a working prosecutor.

"I will regularly carry a caseload of my own and routinely try my own cases, thereby saving the county the expense of at least one assistant prosecuting attorney," he said.

Since January 2001, Paul has been the sole assistant prosecuting attorney in Wetzel County. Prior to that, he served as Ohio County's first lawyer- magistrate.

He said if elected prosecutor, his office would prosecute "any and all cases unless the conflict of interest is personal to me, e.g. a family member, thus rarely seeking an out-of-county prosecuting attorney to handle cases for Ohio County."

"As the assistant prosecuting attorney for Wetzel County, I have been appointed to cases in Ohio County as a special prosecutor in place of the Ohio County prosecutor. The cases have had as alleged defendants police officers and those of locally prominent name. I would not have recused my office from those cases," he said.

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