Hardy to be revenue secretary under Justice

Dave Hardy

Governor-elect Jim Justice announced Tuesday that Kanawha County Commissioner Dave Hardy has been selected as the next secretary of the state Department of Revenue.

Hardy, a lawyer and certified public accountant, was appointed to the County Commission in 2001, after several years on Charleston City Council. He filled the commission seat vacated by Duke Bloom, after Bloom was named a circuit judge.

Hardy was then elected to finish out Bloom’s term in 2002, and was elected to full six-year terms in 2004 and 2010. He was re-elected again in November, defeating Republican Lance Wheeler.

Justice said in the release that Hardy’s experience will help his administration “conquer the budget crisis.”

“Dave Hardy is a real asset for our team because he knows how to pass a responsible budget,” Justice said.

Hardy has taught college courses in accounting and public policy at the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, the University of Charleston and West Virginia State University, and is currently teaching public budgeting at WVSU as part of a master’s program.

Hardy didn’t return calls after Tuesday’s announcement.

The Secretary of Revenue oversees 10 state agencies: Alcohol Beverage Control Administration, Athletic Commission, State Budget Office, Division of Financial Institutions, Insurance Commissioner’s Office, Lottery Commission, Municipal Bond Commission, Office of Tax Appeals, Racing Commission and State Tax Division.

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said Tuesday morning that he knew there was “potential” for Hardy’s selection as secretary of the revenue department.

“I had heard rumblings ... different political people talked about it,” Carper said. “My understanding is he didn’t accept [the position] until yesterday.”

Hardy will resign from County Commission effective at midnight, Jan. 19, and will officially start his new position in the Justice administration the following day, according to the release.

“Dave has been a very good commissioner. The good news is that Kanawha County government is very stable — we’ll work through it,” Carper said.

State law requires county commission vacancies to be permanently filled within 30 days, with a Democrat from Hardy’s magisterial district. The remaining Kanawha commissioners — Carper, a Democrat, and Hoppy Shores, a Republican — must conduct public interviews of all applicants for the position.

“I believe the public has every right to help select the person who replaces Commissioner Hardy,” Carper said in a news release.

Whoever is appointed will serve until the 2018 election, when someone will be elected to fill the rest of the term, which ends in 2022.

Hardy won the November election against Republican opponent Lance Wheeler. He was sworn in last month.

If Carper and Shores can’t agree on who to appoint to fill the vacancy, the decision will be made by the county’s Democratic Executive Committee, Carper said.

Kanawha County commissioners are paid $40,000 per year, including benefits and health insurance, Carper said.

Reach Elaina Sauber at elaina.sauber@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-3051 or follow @ElainaSauber on Twitter.

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