Two Jefferson County commissioners charged with misdemeanors for office vacancy, failure to perform duties

CHARLES TOWN, WV (WOAY) – The state police have charged a pair of Jefferson County Commissioners for allegedly refusing to attend commission meetings.

Jennifer Krouse and Tricia Jackson are facing 42 misdemeanor charges, including failure to perform duties, relief in County Commission from Erroneous Assessments, vacancies in office, and conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor against the state.

Both Jackson and Krouse have said that they refuse to go to meetings due to a dispute over candidates who could have been appointed to fill an empty seat.

In a statement issued back in November 2023, both women said that legal challenges to the appointment process meant that they did not feel comfortable addressing the issue. They refused to attend meetings, denying the commission a quorum, unless the issue was taken off the agenda.

“We’ve tried multiple times to negotiate with Commission President Stolipher over this matter. He has had ample opportunity to do the right thing and remove the agenda item from the agenda so that we can move on and carry out the business of the county, which is something Commissioner Jackson and I want to do,” said Commissioner Krouse in the statement. “Commissioner Stolipher seems more concerned about his self-serving interests and personal agendas than the safety and concerns of his constituents. Commissioner Jackson and I WILL NOT attend a meeting that has the Charles Town seat appointment on the agenda until the legal controversies surrounding this issue have been resolved responsibly and legally. That’s what the courts are for.”

In response, the Jefferson County prosecutor filed a petition to remove Krouse and Jackson for dereliction of duty.

The state police have now filed charges.

Notably, Jackson is running for state auditor in the Republican Primary. She made a Facebook post today, claiming that the charges are political persecution.

“While I am limited in what I can say for legal reasons, I wanted you to hear about this news from me first before it is reported in the press,” Jackson said. “I also want to make it clear that these charges, much like the removal complaint also filed by Prosecutor Harvey, are politically motivated, baseless, and a frivolous waste of taxpayer money and prosecutorial resources.
The intent of these charges may be to break my spirit, but it has had the opposite effect. I take heart in knowing that I now stand in the company of the other men and women, including President Trump, who have been arrested by their political rivals.
I will not run from this fight, and I will never stop fighting for Jefferson County and the great state of West Virginia. To be clear, I will not resign from the county commission, and I will not drop out of the race for state auditor.”
Krouse has not made a public statement on the charges. Both women posted a $42,000 bond.
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