MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – The fate of a Jefferson County Commissioner accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy remains uncertain.
Commissioner Eric Bell, 37, of Charles Town, turned himself in last Friday after being named in a three-count warrant by state police.
“We’re aware of an investigation of Mr. Bell, and we intent to fully cooperate with any law enforcement agencies in the investigation,” county commission attorney Nathan Cochran told MetroNews Monday afternoon.
The criminal complaint charges Bell with sexual abuse by a person of trust, possession of child pornography and displaying obscene material to a minor. A magistrate set bond at $45,000 and Bell was released on his own recognizance.
Cochran said it was unlikely that more would be known on Bell’s status with the commission before it meets again.
“The commission itself speaks as a body, and the time that speaks is during county commission meetings,” he said. “The next meeting is next Thursday. I don’t foresee much happening as far as the commission goes before then.”
Bell’s attorney, Matt Harvey, tells MetroNews affiliate WEPM they are still looking at their options.
“He was only able to come into my office yesterday (MONDAY),” Harvey said. “We haven’t limited ourselves on anything.”
Harvey said Bell is working on an official statement.
Harvey has advised his client not to attend the Jefferson County Commission meeting on Thursday.
“I can’t imagine his presence at that meeting would benefit Jefferson County,” he said. “Probably have more people showing up to needle him.”
The case has been transferred to Berkeley County apparently to avoid conflicts of interest in Jefferson County.
Bell was elected to a six-year term on the county commission in 2014.