The many duties of the Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney, an elected public official who must be an attorney-at-law licensed to practice law in the State of West Virginia, is governed by many statutes, including the following:
ARTICLE 4. PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, REWARDS AND LEGAL ADVICE.
§7-4-1. Duties of prosecuting attorney; further duties upon request of attorney general.
It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney to attend to the criminal business of the state in the county in which he is elected and qualified, and when he has information of the violation of any penal law committed within such county, he shall institute and prosecute all necessary and proper proceedings against the offender, and may in such case issue or cause to be issued a summons for any witness he may deem material. Every public officer shall give him information of the violation of any penal law committed within his county. It shall also be the duty of the prosecuting attorney to attend to civil suits in such county in which the state, or any department, commission or board thereof, is interested, and to advise, attend to, bring, prosecute or defend, as the case may be, all matters, actions, suits and proceedings in which such county or any county board of education is interested.
It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney to keep his office open in the charge of a responsible person during the hours polls are open on general, primary and special county-wide election days, and the prosecuting attorney, or his assistant, if any, shall be available for the purpose of advising election officials. It shall be the further duty of the prosecuting attorney, when requested by the attorney general, to perform or to assist the attorney general in performing, in the county in which he is elected, any legal duties required to be performed by the attorney general, and which are not inconsistent with the duties of the prosecuting attorney as the legal representative of such county. It shall also be the duty of the prosecuting attorney, when requested by the attorney general, to perform or to assist the attorney general in performing, any legal duties required to be performed by the attorney general, in any county other than that in which such prosecuting attorney is elected, and for the performance of any such duties in any county other than that in which such prosecuting attorney is elected he shall be paid his actual expenses.
Upon the request of the attorney general the prosecuting attorney shall make a written report of the state and condition of the several causes in which the state is a party, pending in his county, and upon any matters referred to him by the attorney general as provided by law.
§7-4-2. Rewards for apprehension of persons charged with crime and expenditure of money for detection of crime; appointment of investigators of crime.
The prosecuting attorney of any county, with the approval of the county commission, or of the governor, or of the court of the county vested with authority to try criminal offenses, or of the judge thereof in vacation, may, within his discretion, offer rewards for the apprehension of persons charged with crime, or may expend money for the detection of crime. Any money expended under this section shall, when approved by the prosecuting attorney, be paid out of the county fund, in the same manner as other county expenses are paid: Provided, That the prosecuting attorneys of the several counties of the state may, with the approval of the county commissions of their respective counties, entered of record, appoint to assist them in the discharge of their official duties, trained and qualified full-time or part-time investigators of crime. Such full-time investigators shall accept no other public employment or employment in a private police or investigative capacity during the term of their appointment and shall be paid such salary and expenses as may be fixed by the county commission. Such expenses shall be itemized and sworn to by the investigator upon presentation to the county commission.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the prosecuting attorney of any county, with the consent of the judge of the court of competent jurisdiction and the county commission, may appoint an investigator of crime who need not be a resident of this state.
§7-4-3. Employment of counsel for civil matters; compensation of counsel.
The county commission of any county shall have authority to employ such legal counsel as it may deem necessary for the purpose of advising such county commission on matters of a civil nature and to conduct any litigation of a civil nature to which the county is a party. The county commission shall also have the authority to fix the compensation of any such counsel so employed, and to pay the same out of the county treasury. Any counsel so employed may be removed at the pleasure of the county commission.
§7-4-4. Prosecutor's advisory council; victim advocates; participation in multidisciplinary planning process.
There is hereby created the prosecutor's advisory council composed of elected prosecuting attorneys of each county of the state or a designated member of their staff. The prosecutor's advisory council shall conduct an initial meeting of all members not later than the first day of September, one thousand nine hundred ninety-four, and shall meet not less than one time each year. At the initial meeting and annually thereafter, the council shall elect from among its membership a chairman of the council who shall set the agenda for the council's meetings and shall appoint necessary committees and direct the work of the council in carrying out its duties under the provisions of this section.
The council shall provide advice, assistance, training and leadership to the offices of the various county prosecuting attorneys of this state in criminal and civil cases which involve child abuse or neglect or sexual assault or sexual abuse of children. The council shall also provide advice and assistance to the secretary of the department of health and human resources in the implementation of a multidisciplinary planning process as set forth in article five-d, chapter forty-nine of this code.
The council may seek funds and programs to provide each prosecuting attorney's office with a staff person to assist children who are crime victims to obtain services and assistance from other agencies and programs in the community. Prosecuting attorneys shall be reimbursed by their respective county commissions for necessary expenses actually incurred when attending meetings of the council.
The council may apply for and receive funds from any grant program of any agency or institution in the United States, public or private, to be used for carrying out the purposes of this section.
Many other provisions of law govern the Prosecuting Attorney's many duties as the County's chief law enforcement officer. The information provided here is very general and is not legal advice.