CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Senate voted Monday to confirm more than 200 nominations made by Gov. Jim Justice to various boards and commissions, but there were several notable rejections.
The Senate Confirmations Committee and later the full Senate did vote to confirm Justice’s former chief of staff Nick Casey as a member of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Review. Casey told the committee Monday afternoon he has no conflict of interest serving on the board.
“You have to be an attorney in good standing to be on the board but you can’t practice law. I don’t see anything that’s currently there. It’s kind of an easy definition–I just can’t practice law to be on the board,” Casey said.
Justice fired Casey in August not long after Justice switched political parties. The appointment to his new job came last month. Casey called it a surprise. Casey will make more than $103,000 a year.
Casey was among 219 appointments made by Justice that were confirmed Monday. Twelve were rejected by the confirmations committee with little or no explanation.
Among the rejections were Bob Gray, who has been serving as chairman of the state Health Care Authority since last summer. Gray worked as an administrator at South Charleston-based Thomas General Hospital for more than 30 years. He receives a pension from the hospital and his wife still works there.
Gray told committee members Monday he recuses himself from any Health Care Authority business involving Thomas or its direct competitors.
“My agreement with ethics and with the Health Care Authority is that I will recuse myself from anything from Thomas or St. Francis (Hospital). CAMC also had an application that I recused myself from,” Gray told the committee before he was rejected.
After Monday’s vote, Gray will no longer be a member of the authority.
Charleston attorney Tim Bailey, appointed by Justice to the WVU Board of Governors, was also rejected by the committee. He had already started serving his term on the board and was to serve until 2021.
The committee also rejected the reappointment of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s son, Joseph Manchin IV, to the state Tourism Commission. His term also was to run until 2021.
There were approximately 12 rejections out of the 231 appointments from Justice.