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The state treasurer is the chief financial officer of West Virginia and oversees the cash management of state government. He is responsible for receiving and depositing the state’s revenue, maintaining a record of appropriations made by the legislature, endorsing state checks, and related duties.

The treasurer is a member of the executive branch, serving with the governor, auditor, secretary of state, attorney general, and commissioner of agriculture. These are West Virginia’s ‘‘constitutional officers,’’ mandated by the state constitution and elected statewide. The treasurer is elected to a four-year term, and there is no term limit. He serves on major financial boards throughout state government, including the Board of Public Works, Consolidated Public Retirement Board, Investment Management Board, West Virginia Public Housing Fund, and Municipal Bond Commission, among others. Divisions in the treasurer’s office deal with such matters as cash management, electronic government, debt management, college savings programs, unclaimed property, and other responsibilities.

West Virginia’s first state treasurer, Campbell Tarr of Brooke County, served from 1863 to 1867. The treasurer in 2012, John D. Perdue, was first elected in 1996. Long-serving treasurers include Richard Talbott, who was elected in 1932 and served through 1950; and John Kelly, who was elected in 1960. Kelly served until 1975, when he resigned after being indicted in federal court on charges of bribery and extortion. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Two of the three impeachment proceedings in West Virginia’s history involve the treasurer’s office. The one occasion that the state Senate sat as a court of impeachment was when it removed Treasurer John Burdett from office in 1876. After the loss of about $279 million from the state’s Consolidated Investment Fund in 1987 and 1988, Treasurer A. James Manchin was impeached and resigned in 1989.

The treasurer’s vault is composed of chromium steel and concrete, with walls 22 inches thick. In addition to stocks and bonds, the vault also safeguards valuables including diamonds, rare coins, and stamps, as well as state historical documents.

Last Revised on November 07, 2012

Cite This Article

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "Treasurer." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 07 November 2012. Web. 18 June 2024.


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