CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Rather than hold a special election, the Jefferson County Commission will appoint a Democrat to replace disgraced former sheriff Robert Shirley.Shirley is awaiting sentencing for violating the civil rights of a bank robber who was beaten after a 2010 police chase. He faces up to 10 years in prison.The Herald-Mail said a state Attorney General's Office ruling this week settled a debate over how to fill the post.The commission must appoint someone to serve until the 2014 general election. The winner would then fill Shirley's unexpired term, which will end in 2016.
Shirley was re-elected in November, even though he faced federal charges.He resigned in January after pleading guilty in the criminal case. A civil lawsuit is pending.