Woody Thrasher Out as Secretary of Commerce; Governor Says Investigation Continues

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | June 17, 2018

WV MetroNews.  Last Thursday, Gov. Jim Justice asked for and received the resignation of Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher, the administration announced in a news release.

That now means the government arm of West Virginia economic development is without its top three officers. Thrasher has now been forced out, Development Office executive director Kris Hopkins left of his own accord, and Josh Jarrell, the deputy secretary for Commerce, was also pushed out.


Gov. Jim Justice

Announcing Thrasher’s resignation this morning, the governor expressed his appreciation for Thrasher’s service.

Thrasher has been involved with controversy over the state’s handling of millions of dollars in federal long-term flood relief money. But he earlier was at the center of a China investment deal potentially worth billions of dollars.

“I consider Woody a friend, and he’s done a solid job in the area of economic development, Justice stated today. “Thrasher expressed to me that recent media attention had distracted from what he believed was his core mission, economic development and business opportunities for West Virginia.”

“I hope this allows us to turn our attention to the full recovery of all of the victims of the 2016 flood,” Gov. Justice added.

Thrasher stated that he still believes in Justice’s vision for economic development.

“I accepted this appointment because of my love for the state, and because of Governor Justice’s vision that West Virginia and its citizens should not settle for 50th, Thrasher said. “I want the Governor and this state to be successful, and I welcome the opportunity to help any way I can in the future.”

Thrasher, a successful businessman whose engineering firm bears his name, has been the Secretary of Commerce since the Justice administration took office in January, 2017.

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Governor discusses investigation:  http://wvmetronews.com/2018/06/15/governors-office-describes-another-investigation-involving-commerce-department/

Governor announces temporary replacement for Thrasher: http://wvmetronews.com/2018/06/15/justice-names-clayton-burch-as-interim-commerce-secretary/


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