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Magistrate resigns after investigation of comments, messages

PRINCETON, W.Va. (AP) — A magistrate in West Virginia has stepped down after an investigation into allegations of inappropriate comments and text messages, according to a news report.

Mercer County Magistrate Charles Poe resigned in a letter to Mercer County Circuit Judge William Sadler on Friday after the state Judicial Investigation Commission probe, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported.

The commission began investigating Poe on Jan. 26 after an ethics complaint was made.

He was accused of making “inappropriate sexual, homophobic and racist comments” to a frequent courthouse visitor and of making discriminatory comments verbally and by text message, the newspaper reported.

The commission report said Poe admitted in a sworn statement that he sent the text messages and said many of his comments “amounted to harassment” of two people.

In an agreement with the commission, Poe said he would immediately resign his position and would not seek a judicial office again in West Virginia.

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This version was corrected to show Poe resigned as magistrate, not magistrate judge.