BUCKHANNON – The Twenty-Sixth Judicial Circuit (Lewis and Upshur counties) has a new judge.

Former Upshur County Prosecutor Jacob “Jake” Reger was sworn in as the judge of that circuit in a ceremony Monday in the circuit courtroom of the Upshur County Courthouse in Buckhannon.

“It is truly an honor," Reger told those who attended the ceremony. "I have been a part of this community for a long time. It means a lot to me."

A Republican, Reger was elected Nov. 4 to fill the unexpired term of Judge Thomas Keadle, who retired Jan. 31, 2013. Reger defeated Democrat Kurt W. Hall, who had been serving as Circuit Judge since Aug. 9, 2013, after he was appointed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to serve in Keadle’s place until the 2014 general election.

Reger thanked Senior Status Judge Keadle for being delivering the oath of office. Reger’s wife, Beverly, assisted him in putting on his judicial robe.

Reger had been Upshur County prosecutor since 2005. He previously had his own law practice in Buckhannon from 2002-05. He was director of a fraud investigation unit for the West Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs from 1998-2002. He was an assistant prosecutor in Upshur County from 1993-98, during which time he also had a part-time general practice through Coleman & Wallace in Buckhannon.

He began his law career with Rexroad & Rexroad after he became an attorney in 1992. He also served as assistant to then-Gov. Arch Moore from 1985-86 and as director of the state’s employment training division from 1986-89.

“I will work hard to do a good job for you and make sure you are proud of me and the work I do,” Reger said during the ceremony.

A public reception followed the ceremony, and another public reception was held later in the day in the Lewis County Judicial Annex in Weston.

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