March 26, 2002
William C. Harvey, Superintendent
Brooke County Schools
1201 Pleasant Avenue
Wellsburg, West Virginia 26070
Dear Mr. Harvey:
This is to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated February 11, 2002 relative
to the interpretation of West Virginia Code ??18-5-1a and 18-5-1b. In particular, you
? Does a county board of education member immediately
vacate his position by filing a certificate of candidacy for the
Office of Democratic Executive Committee?
? Can this board member, who filed erroneously for the
Democratic Executive Committee, withdraw his name as a
candidate and remain on the board of education, if he
withdraws within the timelines?
? Is it the candidate?s responsibility to know that he could not
file for another office while holding an office as a board
member, or should someone have informed him of the WV
Code section mentioned above?
The applicable section of West Virginia Code ?18-5-1a states, in part, that:
No person shall be eligible for membership on any county
board who is not a citizen, resident in such county, or who accepts
a position as a teacher or service personnel in the school district in
which he or she is a resident or who is an elected or appointed
member of any political party executive committee, or who
becomes a candidate for any other office than to succeed
No member or member-elect of any board shall be eligible for
nomination, election or appointment to any public office, other than
to succeed oneself, or for election or appointment as a member
of any political party executive committee, unless and until after
that membership on the board, or his status as member-elect to the
board, has been terminated at or before the time of his filing for such
nomination for, or appointment to, such public office or committee.
Therefore, a county board of education member would not meet the eligibility
requirements to be listed as a candidate for a political party executive committee unless
or until his or her membership on the county board of education is terminated. Both the
board member and the clerk accepting the paperwork should be aware of this provision of law.
A subsequent section of code, West Virginia Code ?18-5-1b, states, in part, that:
The term of office of any member of any county board of
education shall immediately cease, and a vacancy shall exist,
upon occurrence of ineligibility as prescribed in section one-a
[? 18-5-1a] of this article.
When the board of education member in question became a candidate for the Office
of Democratic Executive Committee, he became ineligible for membership on the board. Accordingly, his term of office immediately ceased as an operation of law.
Hoping that I have been of service, I am,
Superintendent of Schools