CHARLESTON -- Gov. Joe Manchin has announced that Huntington attorney Menis E. Ketchum has agreed to serve as a volunteer legal advisor to the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training (MHST) as it reviews and implements new mine safety regulations authorized earlier this month by the West Virginia Legislature.
Ketchum, a senior partner in the Huntington law firm of Greene, Ketchum, Bailey and Tweel, has nearly 40 years of experience as a practicing attorney. He earned his undergraduate degree from Ohio University, and is a graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law.
Ketchum also is chairman of the Marshall University Board of Governors,
"Menis is a well-respected attorney in West Virginia's legal community and I am pleased that he has generously offered his assistance in our efforts to promptly implement the new mine safety measures approved on Jan. 23," Manchin said.
In his unpaid voluntary legal advisory role, Ketchum will assist the MHST staff with the review and implementation of new mining rules, as recommended by Senate Bill 247. He also will assist the MHST staff in the completion of a comprehensive review of West Virginia's mine safety policies and regulations, including an analysis of how West Virginia's efforts compare to those in other mining states and on the federal level.
As needed, Ketchum will also be assisting MHST with legal issues related to the pending investigations of the Sago and Aracoma mine tragedies.
"As I've said before, we will leave no stone unturned and will exercise every resource available to make sure that our state does not endure additional mining tragedies," Manchin said. "At the completion of this process, it is my goal to see that West Virginia is home to the safest mining operations in the nation."