Mercer County Magistrate resigns following allegations of harassment

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — Following an ethics complaint to the West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission, Mercer County Magistrate Charles Poe has resigned his position. Poe submitted his letter to Chief Judge William Sadler on Friday, March 12, 2021. It was effective immediately.

The letter was part of an agreement between Poe and the Judicial Disciplinary Counsel. He also agreed to never again seek judicial office by election or appointment. The third part of the agreement was a formal admonishment by the Judicial Investigation Commission.

The action comes after a member of the public who works at the courthouse issued a complaint on Jan. 26, 2021. That person said Poe made inappropriate sexual, homophobic, and racist comments. These were delivered verbally and by text. The complaint stated Poe would remind the individual he was a magistrate if they did not reply to the text messages.

According to the admonishment from the Judicial Investigation Commission, Poe would state “Hello I’m talking to you. This is your honor speaking.” Poe admitted in a sworn statement on March 8, 2021 he sent the text messages.

If Poe violates any of the terms of the agreement, he could face investigation and prosecution of any violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

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