New prosecuting attorney to swear in Nov. 3

MERCER COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Mercer County is well on its way to getting a new prosecuting attorney.

“It’s going to be a challenge, there’s no question about that,” said prosecutor-elect Brian Cochrane. “I’m very excited. I’m excited to get started as the prosecutor.”

Under normal circumstances, the new prosecuting wouldn’t be sworn in until the January after the election. Since Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler’s resignation is effective at the end of the month, Cochrane will instead take over in just a couple weeks.

“He cannot take over until after Mr. Sitler’s period of time ends with his resignation on October 30,” said County Commissioner Bill Archer. “Three days after that, he’ll be able to come in and be sworn in by a circuit court judge. All elected officials have to go through that.”

Originally, the commission planned to have Cochrane sworn in at today’s meeting, but the county cannot have two people on the payroll for one position at a time.

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at