Sims Sworn In as Judge

WHEELING – New Ohio County 1st Judicial Circuit Judge David Sims said as a child, he read almanacs and reference books and committed the facts to memory.

He then brought those tidbits of trivia to the family’s dinner table, where he sought to entertain his parents and siblings with what he had learned.

On Friday, Sims was sworn in as a judge before family, many judges from throughout West Virginia and a large crowd in the West Virginia Independence Hall courtroom. He noted it was a day his late father, Jim Sims, would have enjoyed.

“He used to tell me, ‘If you can’t dazzle them with your knowledge, you’ll amaze them with your BS,'” Sims said. “He would be pleased to know I’ve succeeded.”

Sims had served as Ohio County commissioner since 1994, but he announced his resignation after being appointed circuit court judge by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on May 31. He succeeds the retired Judge Arthur Recht.

Sims thanked Tomblin during his investiture ceremony Friday and noted all the applicants for the judge’s seat “would have been great judges.”

Tomblin selected Sims over Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith, former U.S. Attorney Betsy Steinfeld-Jividen, federal public defender Brendan S. Leary, Family Court Judge William Sinclair and lawyers William Cipriani, William Galloway and Thomas C. McCarthy Jr.

Sims noted Recht had been “very gracious” in the weeks since his appointment, as Recht has opened up his office to him and offered advice.

“He is one of the greatest in the profession – and his passion for the law is exceeded only by his passion for the Steelers,” Sims said of Recht.

He noted the two of them had attended Steelers games together in the past.

Recht was among those present for Sims’ ceremony, and said he “listened closely to make sure Judge Sims did take the oath.”

Recht said he left a few items in his office for Sims. Among them are his collection of notebooks from over the years, into which he entered information on “a number of research projects.”

“He can do with them as he wishes,” Recht said.

One of those notebooks, however, is special. It’s labeled, “One Stop Shopping,” and Recht added many have asked him what is contained in the book.

“I have never told anyone,” he said. “Judge Sims will be only the second person to know what’s in that book.”

Recht added he would also be leaving his Rolaids and Tylenol in the office for Sims for the days when being a judge is stressful.

“Other than that … it’s really a great job,” Recht said.

The Ohio County Democratic Party, meanwhile, continues to accept submissions from those wanting to take Sims’ place in the race for county commissioner on the November ballot. Those interested must be Democrats living in the 2nd Magisterial District.

Letters of interest will be accepted until 5 p.m. Thursday and should be mailed or hand delivered to Robert J. “Rocky” Fitzsimmons at Fitzsimmons Law Offices, 1609 Warwood Ave., Wheeling.

The party’s executive committee has set a meeting for 6:30 p.m. July 9 at the Democratic Party Headquarters, located at the Board of Trade Building at 12th and Chapline streets in downtown Wheeling. The candidate to fill the ballot vacancy will be selected at that time.

And Sims said the future looks positive for Ohio County.

“The county is very well-run by (county administrator) Greg Stewart,” he said. “We’re also seeing a good time economically for things to happen. The county is going to move forward.”