HD Media is running submitted questionnaires from candidates in the 2020 elections.
Read more responses from candidates by clicking on the links at right. Candidates who have not received a questionnaire can send an email to acopley@HDMediaLLC.com with their name, candidacy and phone number.
NAME: Jeff Lane
CANDIDATE FOR: Logan County Magistrate Division 1
HOME CITY: Chapmanville
HOME COUNTY: Logan
EDUCATION: Sharples High School Valedictorian, 1980; BA, Psychology, Marshall University 1986; MA, Counseling, WVU College of Graduate Studies, 1996; MA, Justice Leadership, Marshall University Graduate College,1998.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: WV DHHR Substance Use Waiver Program Manager. I helped design, implement and manage WV Medicaid’s response to the opioid epidemic, allowing any Medicaid recipient to receive substance use treatment at their level of need, from screening, counseling, and partial hospitalizations to inpatient treatment. Under my supervision, over 600 new beds were opened and certified for substance use treatment and, for the first time ever, peer recovery support specialists were funded to help encourage others to stay in and complete recovery programs.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Substance Use Counselor, ACT Program, Logan Mingo Area Mental Health, 2016-2017; Child Protective Service Worker, Boone County DHHR, 2016; Logan County Magistrate, 2003–2015; WVU Logan County 4-H Extension Agent, 2000-2003; Logan County Probation Officer, 1993-2000, 2015; Counselor/Marketer, Charleston Area Medical Center Juvenile Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program, 1992; Logan Mingo Area Mental Health Regional Youth Specialist and Medley Program Case Manager, 1986–1992; Cabell Huntington Hospital Pharmacy Assistant/Physical Therapy Attendant, 1984-1986; WNST Radio Announcer; 1982-1984; WWBB Radio Announcer, 1978-1982.
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Southern Coalition for the Arts; WE CAN Vaudeville Review; Picking in the Park at Chief Logan State Park; Pianist/Member of First Baptist Church of Chapmanville; Keyboards and vocals for the One Horse Town and Hutchinson Brothers Bands.
FAMILY: wife, MaryAnn (Goff) Lane; parents, Maudie Lane and the late Charles.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I’m the only candidate in Division 1 with magisterial experience, certified, elected to three terms, serving 12 years. My education, with Masters’ Degrees in Judicial Leadership and Counseling, gives me skills that aid in assisting people. Proven fair and honest, I’ve spent my professional career working for Logan County, as a Substance Abuse Counselor, Probation Officer, and Extension Agent. For the past two years, I’ve led WV Medicaid’s fight against the opioid epidemic. A lifelong resident, raised at Sharples, moving to Stollings and Chapmanville with my wife, Maryann [Goff] and 96-year-old mother, Maudie. I attend First Baptist Church of Chapmanville.
1. What steps might improve the workings of the courts?
Logan County’s caseload already warrants an additional magistrate. Increase the use of video systems for arraignments and court hearings. Issue citations instead of jailing. Create a system of standard bond amounts for non-violent misdemeanor crimes and give all property-owning residents a personal recognizance bond. Out-of-state residents, especially those charged with violent drug crimes, must post substantial cash or property bonds.
2. Do you believe you have the temperament to be on the bench? Explain.
Yes, I have an even temperament. I’ve served on the bench for 12 years and as a probation officer for 7 years. My trainings through the WV State Supreme Court often focused on de-escalating situations. My education and experience as a counselor allowed me to develop skills that aid in controlling my emotions. I treat people with respect and consideration.
3. How do you feel about accepting contributions to your campaign? Do you feel this creates a conflict of interest or an appearance of impropriety if you are elected?
I’m funding my own campaign and have no conflict of interest. Any magistrate with a known conflict of interest must recuse themselves from hearing those cases. Past employment and/or receiving benefits may be causes for a conflict and might cause one to be unable to hear cases involving their former employers and coworkers, resulting in additional work on other magistrates.
4. Would you favor or oppose a system in which all sentencing decisions were routinely reported in the local paper, indexed by the name of the judge? Explain why or why not.
Favor. However, many people don’t understand that most convictions in magistrate court criminal cases are the direct result of negotiations between the prosecutor and the defendant’s attorney and that these pleas often lead to recommended sentences. While the magistrate isn’t bound by these agreements, it should be noted that the sentencing reflects a plea agreement was reached between the parties.
5. What do you believe to be the root causes for the high numbers of juvenile defenders? What changes can the court system make to reduce these numbers?
The root cause results from failure of consistent parental supervision and discipline. By the time the juvenile reaches the court, they’ve learned to manipulate the system for their best interests. The court must work in cooperation with the parents and the school system to address this problem. Diversion programs can allow the juvenile to correct the problem clearing their record.
6. What kinds of experience do you have with law enforcement or the law profession?
I'm a certified magistrate, attended yearly training for 12 years, passing all exams, and received specialized training at the National Judicial College. I’ve issued warrants, heard criminal and civil cases rendering fair, impartial judgments. I’ve taught Ethics and Criminal Justice at SWVCTC. I’ve had many officers appear before me and learned that even highly-trained law enforcement professionals sometimes make mistakes.
7. How would you weigh addressing the growing jail [population] with public safety [concerns]?
Our regional jail system is designed so that additional housing pods can be added to the existing facilities. Do this immediately! Additionally, jails temporarily house inmates sentenced to prison awaiting transfer. Speed up this process! I’d use alternative sentencing methods including allowing employed defendants to serve weekend jail time keeping their jobs; home confinement; probation; work release; and diversion programs.