KINGWOOD — Preston Circuit Court's new circuit judge said he hopes to continue the trend of outstanding judges in Preston County with his seat on the bench.
Steven L. Shaffer was sworn in May 18 and will begin work May 29.
"I take it as an extreme honor and a privilege to serve the people of Preston County as their circuit judge," Shaffer said.
Shaffer said he hopes to follow in the footsteps of the former judges who previously held his position, including Judge Lawrance Miller and former Judge Neil Reed.
Steven L. Shaffer Perry Bennett/WV Legislative Photography
Shaffer, 63, looks forward to starting work as a judge following vastly different careers in his life.
"I was a coal miner for 23 years until I was injured in the coal mines in 1997," Shaffer said. "I couldn't return to the coal mines after my injury, so I put myself through college and law school and graduated law school in 2003 at the age of 49."
Shaffer said he's been told before that he should write a book about his life.
"I wanted to be a judge because Preston County has always had good judges and I wanted to see that continue," he said.
Shaffer is taking over for Miller, who retired last year but has stayed on as a senior status judge. Shaffer said the plan is to run for judge again after this term ends Dec. 31, 2024.
Shaffer and his wife, Beverly, have been married for 43 years. They have two children. He has lived his entire life in West Virginia and has lived in Preston County all but the first eight months of his life.
Shaffer graduated from West Virginia University College of Law. He then worked for then-Preston County prosecutor Ron Brown before he entering private practice.