Ohio County magistrate resigns a month after taking position

WHEELING, W.Va. — An Ohio County magistrate who was suspended without pay earlier this week has resigned.

After it was discovered that Janine Varner never finished high school, the state Supreme Court of Appeals announced they received a resignation letter from her on Thursday.

Varner’s counsel, Wheeling Attorney Teresa C. Toriseva, released a statement to WTRF and WTOV TV in Wheeling on Thursday:

“Ms. Varner has made what she believes is the best decision as it relates to the public interest and the responsibilities of her appointed position to resign at this time as an Ohio County Magistrate. Ms. Varner apologizes to the Court and the citizens of Ohio County for the turmoil that has been created due to her nontraditional education path. To remedy this, Ms. Varner has begun the process of obtaining her GED to remove all question about her qualifications. She fully intends to seek reappointment and/or election as Magistrate once she completes the GED process and looks forward to a long and distinguished career of public service.”

On Wednesday, Varner was suspended without pay by the state Supreme Court of Appeals but no reason was given other than “she has engaged or is currently engaging in a serious violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct.”

Varner replaced Harry Ratcliffe in August who was sentenced to four months in prison for tax fraud.

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