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Cook and Upson Selected to Fill Vacant Seats

Post Date:05/30/2024 5:58 PM

On Thursday, May 30, Dr. James Cook was appointed to fill the vacant Shepherdstown District seat, and Mr. Kelvin Upson was appointed to fill the vacant Harpers Ferry District seat.  Both commissioners were sworn in by County Clerk Jacki Shadle following the appointment.

Dr. James Cook is a retired Army officer and Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) who works for a large nonprofit supporting veterans’ rights.  Dr. Cook is a resident of Shepherdstown.  “Our county has immense potential. By enhancing tourism, improving infrastructure, attracting new businesses and residents, and expanding our tax base, we can provide the necessary services our residents deserve,” Dr. Cook shared in his interview.

Commissioner Cook can be reached at

Mr. Upson is a retired Navy combat veteran with significant experience in cybersecurity engineering and program management.  “Honor, courage, integrity, and commitment will be woven into every facet of my leadership and decision-making process as a Jefferson County Commissioner,” Mr. Upson shared on his resume.

Commissioner Upson can be reached at

Commissioners Cook and Upson are filling a vacancy created on May 1.  On May 1, a three-judge panel removed two county commissioners, finding “that allegations of the Removal Petition of either official misconduct and/ or neglect of duty have been proven by clear and convincing evidence and are sufficient to warrant the removal of the Respondent Commissioners from office.” The panel then ordered, “pursuant to W. Va Code § 6-6-7, that Commissioners Jackson and Krouse are hereby removed from office.”  This action created two vacancies on the Commission.

On May 13, the Commission held a special session to consult with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office regarding the appointment process for the Shepherdstown District and Harpers Ferry District commission vacancies and to discuss vacancy and appointment issues.  At the conclusion of the meeting, the Commission voted to accept resumes and cover letters of anyone interested in filling the vacancies.  The Commission decided to accept applications through May 24.

At the May 13 meeting, it was decided that each seated commissioner would select up to two applicants to be interviewed for each vacancy—a total of up to 4 selections per seated commissioner.

Six applicants were selected, one withdrew.  Five applicants were interviewed on May 30, 2024.

Commissioner Cook, top, and Commissioner Upson affirming their Oaths of Office, administered by Jacqueline Shadle, Jefferson County Clerk. 




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