Dave Mistich Published

W.Va. House Dems Call for Action Against DNR Director After Domestic Violence Charge


Some Democratic members of the West Virginia House of Delegates are calling for action against a state agency director who was charged with domestic battery earlier this month.

Delegates Cynthia Lavender-Bowe and Amanda Estep-Burton are the lead signatures on a letter to Gov. Jim Justice calling for Division of Natural Resources director Stephen McDaniel to be fired.

The two lawmakers wrote Monday they believe McDaniel’s continued employment would be “unacceptable.”

McDaniel was arrested on charges that he physically assaulted his ex-wife in Florida on April 6. According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, he entered a deferred prosecution agreement that will allow for his charges to be dropped after one year.

A news release from freshman members of the House Democratic caucus — including Lavender-Bowe and Estep-Burton — called for his resignation.

“Director McDaniel should resign from his position immediately,” Lavender-Bowe wrote. “Should he refuse to resign, the Governor should terminate his employment because no matter how good of a job they believe that he is doing — it does not excuse domestic violence.”

Other members of the House of Delegates who have publicly called for action against McDaniel include Del. Michael Angelucci (Marion), Del. Sammi Brown (Jefferson), Del. Evan Hansen (Monongalia), Del. Danielle Walker (Monongalia), Del. Cody Thompson (Randolph) and Del. Lisa Zukoff (Marshall).

The general counsel for the governor’s office told the Gazette-Mail that McDaniel offered to resign but that Gov. Justice did not accept that offer after hearing McDaniel’s explanation of the incident.