CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two nominees to the West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Board of Review won’t be taking their seats officially.

On Thursday, the state Senate approved a list of more than 70 executive nominations that did not include Belinda Biafore, the state Democratic Party chair, and Jo Marie Chandler, daughter of Larry Puccio, a former state Democratic Party chair and an adviser to Justice.

Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns (R-Ohio, 01) cited what he saw as lack of experience in adjudicating claims as his reason for opposing the nominations of Biafore and Chandler for terms that would have run through Jan. 1, 2023.

“We had three appointees to this position and, looking through their applications, one of them, I think, did meet these qualifications that are outlined in code. I feel that the other two did not and that was my reason for the motion to remove those two,” Ferns explained.

“(These are) Two very fine ladies, it’s with no disrespect to either one of them. We just feel like the code outlines, clearly in this case, the qualifications.”

Senator Bob Plymale (D-Wayne, 05) said experience was not usually such a major concern for similar nominations.

“If I got up and spoke about every member that comes before Confirmations that I think, ‘Gosh, I don’t think they should be on there,’ it would have been half of the state board members,” Plymale said. “We would be up here arguing forever.”

Other Senate Democrats asserted other factors, possibly political, were at play.

“This is an example where we have singled out two very good people that the Confirmations Committee and individuals taking them off the list have really no reason except in their opinion,” said Senator John Unger (D-Berkeley, 16).

The three members of the West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Board of Review hear appeals on unemployment claim decisions from administrative law judges which is several steps into the appeals process.

The position pays $17,000 annually.

During a hearing earlier this week in front of the Senate Confirmations Committee, Biafore indicated she’d already heard more than 60 cases since first joining the Board in January.

Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso’s (D-Marion, 13) Thursday attempt to return Chandler and Biafore to the list via an amendment failed with a 13-19 vote largely along party lines following more than an hour of debate.

The Senate vote for the confirmations, without the two, soon passed 30-2.

On Jan. 13, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin submitted the following nomination list to the Senate which was voted on Thursday:

Senate Executive Message No. 3-T

1. For Member, Veterans’ Council, James McCormick, New Haven, Mason County,
for the term ending June 30, 2022.
2. For Member, Veterans’ Council, Jack Gerrard, Clarksburg, Harrison County, for
the term ending June 30, 2019.
3. For Member, West Virginia State University Board of Governors, Charles E. Jones,
Jr., Charleston, Kanawha County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
4. For Member, Bluefield State College Board of Governors, Charlie Cole, Bluefield,
Mercer County, for the term ending June 30, 2017.
5. For Member, Blue Ridge Community and Technical College Board of Governors,
Keith Unger, Berkeley Springs, Morgan County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
6. For Member, Blue Ridge Community and Technical College Board of Governors,
Stephanie L. Harvey, Martinsburg, Berkeley County, for the term ending June 30,
2020.
7. For Member, Blue Ridge Community and Technical College Board of Governors,
Bradley Close, Berkeley Springs, Morgan County, for the term ending June 30,
2018.
8. For Member, West Virginia Northern Community and Technical College Board of
Governors, Jonathon H. Greer, Wheeling, Ohio County, for the term ending June
30, 2020.
9. For Member, West Virginia Northern Community and Technical College Board of
Governors, David Artman, Weirton, Hancock County, for the term ending June 30,
2019.
10. For Member, West Virginia Northern Community and Technical College Board of
Governors, Larry Lemon, New Martinsville, Wetzel County, for the term ending
June 30, 2020.
11. For Member, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Board of Governors,
Cheryl Schreiber, Weirton, Brooke County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
12. For Member, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Board of Governors,
Charles H. Davis, Stow, Ohio, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
13. For Member, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Board of Governors,
David Rader, Gainesville, Florida, for the term ending June 30, 2019.
14. For Member, West Virginia University – Parkersburg Board of Governors, Donna
M. Smith, Vienna, Wood County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
15. For Member, West Virginia University – Parkersburg Board of Governors, Jeffrey
Matheny, Mineral Wells, Wood County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
16. For Member, West Virginia University – Parkersburg Board of Governors, Jason
Landers, Vienna, Wood County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
17. For Member, West Virginia University – Parkersburg Board of Governors, Joseph
Oliverio, Belmont, Pleasants County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
18. For Member, West Virginia University – Parkersburg Board of Governors, John P.
Hushion, Vienna, Wood County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
19. For Member, West Virginia Board of Architects, Edward W. Tucker, Huntington,
Cabell County, for the term ending June 30, 2021.
20. For Member, West Virginia Board of Architects, Edsel Smith, Jane Lew, Lewis
County, for the term ending June 30, 2017.
21. For Member, West Virginia University Board of Governors, Thomas A. Heywood,
Charleston, Kanawha County, for the term ending June 30, 2019.
22. For Member, West Virginia University Board of Governors, Ben Statler, Naples,
Florida, for the term ending June 30, 2019.
23. For Member, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Board of
Governors, Howard E. Seufer, Jr., Charleston, Kanawha County, for the term
ending June 30, 2020.
24. For Member, Tourism Commission, Kara D. Dense, Lewisburg, Greenbrier
County, for the term ending May 1, 2019.
25. For Member, State Conservation Committee, Angela Rosser, Charleston,
Kanawha County, for the term ending June 30, 2019.
26. For Member, State Conservation Committee, Roscoe Adkins, Logan, Logan
County, for the term ending June 30, 2018.
27. For Member, Real Estate Commission, Joe L. Ellison, Greenville, Monroe County,
for the term ending June 30, 2019.
28. For Member, Real Estate Commission, Densil Nibert, Shenandoah Junction,
Jefferson County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
29. For Member, Real Estate Commission, Cheryl Dawson, Hurricane, Putnam
County, for the term ending June 30, 2018.
30. For Member, Real Estate Commission, Kathy L. Martin, Morgantown, Monongalia
County, for the term ending June 30, 2018.
31. For Member, West Virginia State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers,
Larry C. Nottingham, Duck, Clay County, for the term ending June 30, 2017.
32. For Member, West Virginia Board of Architects, Wendy Scatterday, Wheeling,
Ohio County, for the term ending June 30, 2019.
33. For Member, West Virginia Massage Therapy Licensure Board, Roland Meffort,
Nitro, Kanawha County, for the term ending June 30, 2017.
34. For Member, West Virginia Massage Therapy Licensure Board, Joan F. Wysong,
Nitro, Kanawha County, for the term ending June 30, 2017.
35. For Member, West Virginia Massage Therapy Licensure Board, Marsha Starr,
Hamlin, Lincoln County, for the term ending June 30, 2018.
36. For Member, West Virginia Massage Therapy Licensure Board, John Skelton,
Shady Spring, Raleigh County, for the term ending June 30, 2018.
37. For Member, West Virginia Massage Therapy Licensure Board, Laurie Lively,
Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, for the term ending June 30, 2017.
38. For Member, Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, Tim P. McCormick,
Wheeling, Ohio County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
39. For Member, Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, Michael M. Taylor,
Elkins, Randolph County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
40. For Member, West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Karen
McNealy, Huntington, Cabell County, for the term ending June 30, 2019.
41. For Member, West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Gwen
Bryant, St. Albans, Kanawha County, for the term ending June 30, 2019.
42. For Member, West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, David
Blaine, Daniels, Raleigh County, for the term ending June 30, 2017.
43. For Member, Economic Development Authority, Anne Barth, Charleston, Kanawha
County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
44. For Member, West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine, Keith B. Berkeley,
Ranson, Jefferson County, for the term ending June 30, 2019.
45. For Member, West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine, John R. Wilson,
Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
46. For Member, West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine, Ronald Lee Smith,
Charleston, Kanawha County, for the term ending June 30, 2021.
47. For Member, West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine, Amy Runyon Meadows,
Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, for the term ending June 30, 2021.
48. For Member, New River Community and Technical College Board of Governors,
Jim Ferguson, Bluefield, Mercer County, for the term ending June 30, 2017.
49. For Member, New River Community and Technical College Board of Governors,
Tom Cochran, Daniels, Raleigh County, for the term ending June 30, 2019.
50. For Member, Shepherd University Board of Governors, Henry M. Kayes, Jr.,
Martinsburg, Berkeley County, for the term ending June 30, 2018.
51. For Member, West Virginia Board of Medicine, Wes Steele, Fairmont, Marion
County, for the term ending September 30, 2021.
52. For Member, West Virginia Board of Medicine, Carrie A. Lakin, Charleston,
Kanawha County, for the term ending September 30, 2021.
53. For Member, Mountwest Community and Technical College Board of Governors,
Cathy Burns, Huntington, Cabell County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
54. For Member, Mountwest Community and Technical College Board of Governors,
Anthony E. Martin, Huntington, Cabell County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
55. For Member, Mountwest Community and Technical College Board of Governors,
Rodney Wiles, Huntington, Cabell County, for the term ending June 30, 2020.
56. For Member, Mountwest Community and Technical College Board of Governors,
Melvin Miller, Huntington, Cabell County, for the term ending June 30, 2018.
57. For Member, School Building Authority, T. Bart Willis, Logan, Logan County, for
the term ending July 31, 2019.
58. For Member, School Building Authority, Tom Lange, Kearneysville, Jefferson
County, for the term ending July 31, 2019.
59. For Member, West Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Licensing and Certification
Board, Rachel Phillips, Morgantown, Monongalia County, for the term ending June
30, 2019.
60. For Member, West Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Licensing and Certification
Board, Dean E. Dawson, Scott Depot, Putnam County, for the term ending June
30, 2019.
61. For Member, West Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Licensing and Certification
Board, Frank DeChiazza, Charleston, Kanawha County, for the term ending June
30, 2019.
62. For Member, West Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Licensing and Certification
Board, Darlene Dunn, Morgantown, Monongalia County, for the term ending June
30, 2019.
63. For Member, West Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Licensing and Certification
Board, Ann Wilson Worley, Beckley, Raleigh County, for the term ending June 30,
2019.
64. For Member, West Virginia Board of Respiratory Care, Eric O. Hawkins, Bluefield,
Mercer County, for the term ending June 30, 2019.
65. For Member, West Virginia Board of Respiratory Care, Tracy S. Matthews, Sod,
Lincoln County, for the term ending June 30, 2019.
66. For Member, West Virginia Board of Respiratory Care, Rayan E. Ihle, Charleston,
Kanawha County, for the term ending June 30, 2017.
67. For Member, West Virginia Board of Respiratory Care, Barbara Hayden Folden,
Mullens, Wyoming County, for the term ending June 30, 2018.
68. For Member, Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses, Doris F.
Burkey, Berkeley Springs, Morgan County, for the term ending June 30, 2021.
69. For Member, Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board, Philip Reale II,
South Charleston, Kanawha County, for the term ending June 30, 2018.
70. For Member, Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Barry K. Lay, Glenville,
Gilmer County, for the term ending July 27, 2020.
71. For Member, Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Robert L. Radabaugh, Sand
Fork, Gilmer County, for the term ending July 27, 2022.
72. For Member, Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Anthony Gum, Buckhannon,
Upshur County, for the term ending July 27, 2018.
73. For Member, West Virginia Parkways Authority, Troy N. Giatras, Charleston,
Kanawha County, for the term ending June 30, 2019.
74. For Member, Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, Jo Marie Chandler,
Fairmont, Marion County, for the term ending January 1, 2023.
75. For Member, Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, Belinda Biafore,
Fairmont, Marion County, for the term ending January 1, 2023.
76. For Member, Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, John A. Canfield,
Charleston, Kanawha County, for the term ending January 1, 2023.
77. For Member, West Virginia Parole Board, Edward E. Wooton, Petersburg, Grant
County, for the term ending June 30, 2019.

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