CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Northern Panhandle Democratic Party official is being tapped to fill a West Virginia Senate vacancy.Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Robert "Rocky" Fitzsimmons on Wednesday. He'll take the legislative seat left by recently sworn-in Ohio County Commissioner Orphy Klempa.
Fitzsimmons is a Wheeling lawyer and co-chairman of Ohio's Democratic Party. He helped represent West Virginia University when it sued Rich Rodriguez over his abrupt departure as head football coach.With the Legislature beginning its next regular session in February, Fitzsimmons' appointment is effective immediately. He will serve what remains of Klempa's term, with the seat up for election in 2014.