CHARLESTON W.Va. (WVDN) – Earlier this year, on Aug. 30, Governor Jim Justice announced the appointment of Mike Honaker to the position of Inspector General of the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security. Concerns arose sometime later regarding the constitutionality of this appointment.
According to reports, the concerns primarily seem to stem from the fact that the position in question was created while Honaker was serving as a Delegate. Specifically, the Office of Inspector General in the Department of Homeland Security was created by House Bill 3360, which passed during the 2023 legislative session. The West Virginia State Constitution prohibits lawmakers, during their term of service, from being appointed to offices created during their time in office.
During an administration briefing held on Oct. 13, a reporter asked Govorner Justice about the controversy. He stated, “He has been hired into an existing position as the Inspector General.” According to a report from West Virginia Watch, Brian Abraham, Justice’s Chief of Staff, clarified that Honaker, who does hold the title of Inspector General, is in a position formerly within the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Abraham is quoted as saying, “We took that position and put it within the secretary’s office to be responsible for more than just Corrections and put him into that staff position within the secretary’s office.”
In the same briefing, Justice also stated that as soon as Honaker is eligible, “he is absolutely the right man for the job.”
The West Virginia Daily News will provide any further details that become available regarding this situation.
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