Federal judge will decide on deferred prosecution agreement for 2 magistrates

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A federal judge is being asked to approve a deferred prosecution agreement in connection with two county magistrates who face criminal charges.

The proposed deal would allow Lewis County Magistrate Roger Clem and Gilmer Magistrate Alton Skinner to stay out of prison but require them to resign and not seek office again.

The two were charged in connection with a bail bonding scheme.

Clem, 47, of Weston, and Skinner, 57, of Sand Fork, were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud; two counts of wire fraud; two counts of mail fraud; and one count of obstruction of justice. Skinner is also charged with one count of false statement to a federal agent, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Federal prosecutors said they offered favorable treatment to a bond company operated by Skinner’s spouse. They were removed from the bench after the charges were brought.

If U.S. District Judge Thomas Kleeh approves the deferred prosecution agreement, the charges against the two men would be dismissed if they are in compliance with the terms of the agreement after one year.

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