Two Candidates Seeking Brooke Magistrate Post
Two are competing in a nonpartisan race for Brooke County magistrate in the June 9 primary election.
They are challenger Steve Seminsky of Follansbee and incumbent Robin Snyder of Wellsburg.
In her 10th year as a Brooke County magistrate, Snyder has presided over the county’s drug treatment court for people who have committed crimes related to addiction. She has initiated and overseen the teen court, where juveniles charged with certain offenses appear before a jury of their peers and an adult judge.
She served previously as magistrate assistant for nine years.
A graduate of Brooke High School, Snyder completed nine years of magistrate training courses, as well as training in treatment courts, and many college courses in banking.
Before working in the magistrate court system, she was employed for 22 years by the former Progressive Bank. She was co-owner of Snyder’s Marathon for 13 years.
Asked what traits a magistrate should possess, Snyder said, “Dedication to and belief in all aspects of the criminal justice system. High moral standards and honesty (integrity). Compassion, respect and understanding for all individuals.”
“It is an honor and a privilege to serve the people in Brooke County and should be upheld in the highest regard. I am proud of my life-long residency in Brooke County and want to keep it a safe and family-friendly environment for generations to come,” she said.
Currently employed in the oil and gas industry, Seminsky worked for 21 years as a Brooke County law enforcement and probation officer.
A Coast Guard veteran, he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at West Liberty University and a master’s degree in the field from the University of Cincinnati.
In 1997 he was hired by the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department, where he served as a detective, process server, bailiff and school resource officer, among other capacities.
In 2006 Seminsky became a probation officer, initially overseeing juvenile offenders and later interviewing candidates for the drug treatment court to determine their likelihood of re-offending. He was involved in launching a county veterans’ court aimed at directing offenders who are military veterans to counseling when appropriate; and later was charged with supervising sex offenders.
Asked about traits a magistrate should possess, Seminsky said, “A judge should always maintain professionalism while being respectful and courteous to everyone in the courtroom. Being open-minded, having good listening skills and remaining independent and impartial are crucial. Knowing and understanding the rule of law and always applying it equally and fairly is essential in being able to protect the integrity of the case as well as the individual’s constitutional rights. At the end of the day, common sense is a must.”