Kanawha prosecutor resigns

By Chris Dickerson | Mar 2, 2007

CHARLESTON -- Kanawha County Prosecutor Bill Charnock resigned Friday.

CHARLESTON -- Kanawha County Prosecutor Bill Charnock resigned Friday.

He submitted his letter of resignation to the county commission, which will appoint a replacement.

"While initially I had hoped to complete my term, I simply miss my wife and son too much to continue my service in West Virginia," Charnock said in his letter. "This job is just not worth being away from my wife and son."

Talking to Brad McElhinny of the Charleston Daily Mail, Charnock cited the family issues for the reason for his resignation. But it also ends a probe into whether Charnock used taxpayer resources to help run his election campaign and those of two of his siblings when he was director of the Prosecuting Attorneys Institute.

The resignation means charges against Charnock will not be put before a grand jury, said Dwane Tinsley, the special investigator in the case. Tinsley told the Daily Mail that the agreement was reached Thursday night.

"If we had not reached an agreement, we would have presented a case to a grand jury," Tinsley told the Daily Mail.

Charnock, 38, said he is headed to Illinois, where his wife accepted a job as in-house counsel for State Farm Insurance. She and their son have been living there.

"I had initially thought I could complete my term, but after six months of trying to live in two places and trying to be a good dad and a good prosecutor, I can only be one of either. And I need to be a good dad," Charnock, a Republican, told the Daily Mail. "The only way I can be that is to be with my son and wife."

Charnock told the Daily Mail he will be glad to put the troubles behind him.

"I was naive, I guess," he said. "I was naïve enough to believe if a person went in and did a good job, you wouldn't have to put up with nonsense.

"There are egos in public service that are so great. You can't do anything without somebody being offended because their ego is so big. There are people in this world who are just no good. I'm not talking about defendants; I'm talking about politicians."

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