Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 28, 2014

Poe sworn in as magistrate to complete Fowler’s term

PRINCETON — A former county magistrate returned to office Thursday when he was sworn in to replace a magistrate who is retiring effective today.

Magistrate Charles N. Poe took the oath of office at noon before Chief Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope. Poe was appointed to complete the term of Magistrate Rick Fowler, who recently announced his retirement.

Poe will serve until 2016. After the swearing in ceremony, Poe said he planned to run for the office again.

He lost a bid for reelection in 2012.

“Actually, I intended to run again even if this position hadn’t become available,” he said.

After being sworn in, Poe thanked Swope and other elected officials for the opportunity to serve again. Poe was the unanimous choice of Mercer County’s three circuit judges, officials with the Supreme Court of Appeals for West Virginia said when Poe’s appointment was announced.

“I’m glad to be back as magistrate in Mercer County, and I look forward to working with you guys, and I appreciate the support you have given me,” Poe said to the judges and officials in the courtroom.

Fowler’s assistant, Kathleen Dillon, will work with Poe at the magistrate offices in Princeton. Judge Swope swore in Dillon after Poe’s ceremony. Dillon has more than 20 years of magistrate court experience.

Fowler was the county’s chief magistrate. Magistrate Sandra S. Dorsey will become chief magistrate for the remainder of the calendar year.

Fowler, who became subject to a probe by the Judicial Investigation Commission (JIC) after sexually explicit Facebook messages with a woman who appeared before him in court were made public, presented a letter to Swope on Feb. 14 announcing his retirement.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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