Kanawha County Chief Circuit Judge Charles King is stepping down from the chief judge position.
King, who has served as chief judge for the past 10 months, will step down Friday at 5 p.m., circuit court administrator Beverly Selby said Wednesday. King will remain a Kanawha circuit judge.
The seven Kanawha circuit judges take turns serving as chief judge, with a term lasting one calendar year, but a chief judge may vacate the position at any time.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Carrie Webster will assume the chief judge position after Friday evening, Selby said. This will be Webster’s first term as the chief judge.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, King has issued a number of rulings and decisions related to safety in the Kanawha Judicial Annex and the county.
On April 6, he entered an order allowing the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, with the directive of Chief Health Officer Dr. Sherri Young of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, to issue GPS ankle-monitoring bracelets to those who refuse to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. Young has the authority to issue a quarantine order for those who refuse to quarantine.
On May 11, King issued an order with 24 rules to be followed to ensure the safe reopening of the Judicial Annex, which had been closed for nearly two months at the beginning of the pandemic.
King briefly ordered the circuit court office closed July 14 after a court staff member tested positive for COVID-19, allowing the county enough time to deep clean the entire office and any other affected areas.