New delegate joins House just in time for special session

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A new lawmaker joined the House of Delegates today, just ahead of a special session to pass bills that were vetoed by Gov. Jim Justice on technical grounds.

Chuck Little of Davisville has been selected to fill a seat that opened when Delegate Ray Hollen, a Republican from Wirt County, resigned earlier this month.

“Some of the members of my community talked to me when the vacancy arrived last week, and I’d never given it a thought of course,” Little said today. “I thought about it overnight. Why not. I’ve always been involved and stayed attuned to government.”

Chuck Little

Little was sworn in today before the special session to serve District 9, which represents Wirt and Wood counties.

He was sworn in by Justice Tim Armstead, a former House speaker, while current Speaker Roger Hanshaw assisted.

Originally from Parkersburg, Little served 15 years in the West Virginia State Police, with an emphasis on investigating public corruption.

Little then spent 23 years with the U.S. Department of Treasury as a special agent. Following his retirement, he served as the senior investigator to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

Little now works as an investigator with the law firm of Bailey & Glasser LLP in Charleston. Most recently, according to the firm, he was the lead investigator for an antitrust case against paving companies in West Virginia.

“I know what happens if the right things aren’t done. It’s not a good scene,” Little said, referring to his investigatory background. “If you don’t do the right thing, there’s repercussions down the road.
“My background — I spent 40 years putting people in jail and the last 20 trying to keep them out.”

Ray Hollen

Hollen’s resignation letter said he has a career opportunity with the Department of Defense. The resignation is effective Sunday.

“At any given time as we travel down life’s highway, we may be faced with different paths along the way,” Hollen wrote in a letter to House Speaker Roger Hanshaw. “For me, that time has come.”

Hollen, who is retired from the State Police, continued, “After serving the public for over 30 years, and enjoying my time working for the people of West Virginia, this change in direction was not an easy decision.”

Hollen was elected to the House of Delegates in 2016 and then re-elected in 2018.

A committee from both Wood and Wirt counties was formed to select candidates to replace Hollen. Gov. Jim Justice then selected and announced the person to serve.

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