BECKLEY, W.Va. — Raleigh County Commissioner Byrd White has cleared the way for Gov. Jim Justice to appoint him interim Secretary of Transportation.
White has resigned his county commission seat. He turned in the resignation Thursday night. It took effect Friday morning.
Justice said in a March 13 news conference at the state capitol that he wanted White to have the job. Justice fired Transportation Secretary Tom Smith on March 10. The governor said they’ve had a disagreement about secondary road repairs.
White, 73, for the past 15 months, has served in the state Department of Revenue, in a role established to ensure out-of-state contractors pay their taxes.
White was also manager of Black Knight Country Club in Beckley, which Justice’s family owned. And before that he was senior vice president for Justice Companies and senior vice president of Bluestone Industries, a part of Justice’s coal holdings.
Justice acknowledged that White’s expertise is in accounting, rather than engineering. But he believes he can do the job.
“He’ll work until the cows come home,” Justice said.
Because White is not an engineer, the governor will likely have to hire someone else to be the Commissioner of Highways. Smith held both positions.