CHARLESTON -- Secretary of State Betty Ireland has announced two key staff changes in her office, with her Chief of Staff departing to accept a position in the private sector, and a new Deputy Secretary of State coming on board.
"Ben Beakes has been my Chief of Staff since the day I assumed office, and his contributions have been enormous," Ireland said. "I thank him for his dedication and his friendship, and wish him all the best in the future."
Beakes' last day will be Sept. 30. He has accepted a position with Petroleum Products Inc. in its Fleet Fueling Division.
"It's been a privilege to serve the citizens of West Virginia in my role as Secretary Ireland's Chief of Staff," Beakes said. "Working in the Secretary of State's Office has certainly been rewarding, and I'll miss it."
Sarah Carden Bailey is joining the office as Deputy Secretary of State/Director of Communications. She recently served as Assistant General Counsel and Vice President for Acordia Mid-Atlantic in Charleston. She previously served as a litigation associate with Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP, and was a law clerk for the late U.S. District Judge Charles Haden II. She is a 1997 graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law.