POINT PLEASANT — There’s a new sheriff in town.
Michael L. Roach of Point Pleasant has been appointed to the position of Mason County Sheriff by Mason County Commissioners Rick Handley, Miles Epling and Bob Baird. At their regular business meeting on Thursday, Commissioners unanimously voted to appoint Roach to the position after this week’s resignation of former Sheriff David Anthony. Roach was sworn in by Mason County Clerk Diana Cromley and will serve out the remaining 298 days of Anthony’s’s term. Roach is not seeking the office of sheriff in the upcoming election.
Before the vote to approve Roach, Handley said he’d spoken to many candidates and time was of the essence when filling the sheriff’s vacancy. Handley said the county needed someone who already had the necessary training to assume all the responsibilities of the office, immediately. In addition to supervising the law enforcement facet of the sheriff’s department, the new sheriff had to be able to assume the financial responsibilities of the office of which there are many, including being one of three office holders which must sign the paychecks of all county employees.
Handley said Roach already had training as a supervisor in both the law enforcement and private business communities, as well as an associate’s degree in criminal justice. These diversified credentials seemed to bump Roach to the top of the list of candidates when it came down to a vote to place him in the position.
Before being sworn into office, Roach addressed the commission, saying the offer to become sheriff came as a surprise but he appreciated the county commission’s vote of confidence in him.
Roach also acknowledged the work of the current employees in the sheriff’s department and how he felt the citizens could be proud of that work. He said he looked forward to doing what he could to create a sheriff’s department citizens could have even more pride and respect for during his tenure. Roach also said he hoped when the next sheriff entered office, they would find a department which was running efficiently and effectively.
Roach’s resume includes being a Detachment Commander with the West Virginia State Police at District II Headquarters in Huntington. He achieved the rank of Sgt. and in addition to working a variety of criminal cases, he also supervised the daily duties of scheduling troopers, assigning any overtime when applicable and other administrative duties.
After Roach retired from the state police, he went to work for Fruth Pharmacies, Inc. where he was the Director of Loss Prevention and Security. While in this position, Roach formed policy concerning asset protection and enforcement of policies in a corporation of 25 stores, two distribution warehouses and 640 employees. He dealt with store security issues, repairs, upgrades, internal theft investigations, investigation of shoplifters and assisted insurance fraud investigators on fraudulent claims, etc.
Roach is a 1965 graduate of Point Pleasant High School and received his associate degree in Criminal Justice from Marshall University in 2001.
In other business:
Commission members acknowledged Point Pleasant High Schools Wrestling Team which recently won its third straight, state title. (See photos on A1.) Commissioners presented the entire team with a plaque and also certificates to Noah Searls, Zach Nibert and Josh Hereford, state champions in individual weight classes.
Commissioners declared Saturday, March 10 as Chase Likens Day in Mason County. Likens will appear at a homecoming celebration which begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the Wedge Auditorium at PPJSHS followed by a meet and greet in the commons area.
Cromley told commissioners voting precincts would be more streamlined for the upcoming election with the number of precincts going from 38 to 30. Commissioners approved the new precinct list, the hiring of poll workers and the appointments of Emergency Absentee Ballot Commissioner for both parties - Rice Tarbett was approved for the Democrats and Carolyn McCoy for the Republicans. Respective political parties choose these representatives for county commissioners to approve.
Accepted the resignation of Deputy Ron Smith from the sheriff’s department.