Brooke County, West Virginia

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Brooke County is a county located in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of 2000, the population was 25,447. Its county seat is Wellsburg[1]. Brooke County was created in 1797 from part of Ohio County and named in honor of Robert Brooke, Governor of Virginia from 1794 to 1796.

Brooke County is part of the Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Law and Government

Brooke County is governed by a three member County Commission who each serve in rotating 6-year terms. The terms are designed such that one seat is up for election in even years. The County Commission annually chooses its own President. The Brooke County Commissioners in 2008 are President Bernard Kazienko, Marty Bartz, and Norma Tarr.

Brooke County is part of the First Judicial Circuit of West Virginia, which also includes Hancock and Ohio counties. In West Virginia, Circuit Judges are elected in partisan elections to eight-year terms. The current judges of the First Judicial Circuit are the Hon. Martin J. Gaughan, the Hon. James Mazzone, the Hon. Arthur M. Recht, and the Hon. Ronald E. Wilson. All four Circuit Court judges were re-elected in November 2008.

Brooke County is part of the First Family Court Circuit of West Virginia which also includes Hancock and Ohio Counties. In West Virginia, Family Court Judges were first elected to six-year terms beginning in 2002 and were elected to eight-year terms beginning in 2008. The current judges of the First Family Court Circuit are the Hon. Joyce Chernenko and the Hon. William Sinclair whom were both elected to eight-year terms in November 2008.

Magistrates are elected in partisan elections serving four-year terms. Vacancies occurring in unexpired terms can be filled by a respective Circuit Court Judge. Unlike Circuit Court judges or Family Court judges, magistrates are not required to be attorneys. Brooke County currently has two magistrates: Michael H. Allman and Deborah Lunsford.

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