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Judge appointed in Commonwealth vs. Board of Supervisors

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia Cynthia D. Kinser has appointed retired Judge Donald H. Kent to preside in the show cause case brought by the Commonwealth of Virginia against the Halifax County Board of Supervisors regarding the condition of the courthouse building in Halifax.

According to court records, Kinser signed an order July 18 appointing Kent, retired judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit, to preside over the case.

Tenth Judicial Circuit judges have recused themselves from the case, according to the order signed by Kinser.

Judge Joel Cunningham had met with former County Administrator George Nester late last month to discuss plans to issue a legal action against the board that will insure this board of supervisors and future boards continue to make the necessary repairs to the courthouse.

According to Nester, the supervisors already were aware of the needed repairs, and the judges are being pre-emptive in keeping this board or future boards of supervisors from saying they weren’t going to make improvements.

“It’s a way to keep this project on track,” said Nester.

For some time, supervisors have known the courthouse was in a condition that needed to be improved, including insuring the safety of people in the courthouse and addressing American Disabilities Act issues.

Supervisors have hired a firm, CJMW of Lynchburg, who is in the process of determining needed courthouse improvements.