Davis, Fletcher, Gittings announce candidacy for Hancock County positions
NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. — Hancock County Prosecuting Attorney James W. Davis Jr. and Sheriff Ralph Fletcher announced they will be running again in 2020.
However, while Davis is seeking re-election, Fletcher will be running for the position of county court magistrate.
Also, longtime law enforcement officer Scott Gittings announced he plans to run for sheriff.
Davis has served as both an assistant prosecutor and as the elected prosecuting attorney for most of his professional career.
He is on the Executive Committee for the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute as well as the Board of Directors. Davis started the Hancock, Brooke, Weirton Drug Task Force through his office in 1992 and continues to serve as a Board Member. He has been awarded the First Circuit Victim’s Assistance Cross Award on two occasions. In 2013, he was named a Top 10 National Animal Defender by the Animal Legal Defense Fund for his prosecutorial work in the State v. Nally case, resulting in imposition of a 9 to 45 year penitentiary sentence.
Davis also serves on the Board of Directors for the Weirton Housing Authority, was on the planning committee for the Weirton Boys and Girls club and was a founding member of the Weirton Girls’ Basketball Association. He has coached basketball for many years at Weir High and Madonna as well as Weir Middle School and St. Joseph’s grade school.
Davis is married to the former Michele Heaton and has two adult daughters, Nicole, married to Shanon Schuetzner, and Jessica as well as a granddaughter, Averi.
A lifelong Hancock County resident, Fletcher started his career in law enforcement in the city of Weirton in 1977 where he eventually became chief of police, a position he held from 1998 to 2002. Prior to becoming chief he held different positions including patrolman, motor vehicle accident reconstruction investigator, juvenile officer, and sergeant of the Detective Division.
Upon his 2002 retirement, Fletcher began working in the private sector for Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming resort where he was charged with starting an armed guard unit and managing the resort’s Emergency Medical Response Division. After nine months with Mountaineer, Fletcher was offered the position of Special Investigator to the current prosecuting attorney of Hancock County. While there he was able to work closely with the prosecutor, forging a great working relationship with him, overseeing all cases presented to the courts. Fletcher then successfully ran for the office of sheriff of Hancock County in 2012 and again in 2016.
Fletcher has been married to Rebecca Ann (Johnson) Fletcher for 48 years. They have two children, Christopher married to Aimee Donnell Fletcher, and Chelsey, and three grandsons.
Gittings has 40 years of law enforcement experience. Gittings started his career in 1979 with the New Cumberland Police Department where he was appointed chief of police in 1989 and served as until 1992, when he joined the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.
He was with the sheriff’s office for 23 years until he retired. Gittings worked multiple assignments at the sheriff’s office including patrol, court bailiff and evidence custodian.
Gittings’ favorite assignment was working as a K-9 officer with two different K-9’s and at one point was the head of the K-9 unit. His last duty with the sheriff’s office was the prevention resource officer at Allen T. Allison Elementary School in Chester.
In 2015, Gittings took the position of assistant chief of police in the Chester Police Department, which he continues to do. In the role Gittings assists the chief with the day to day operation of the department and oversees the department when the chief is unavailable.
Gittings has also served on the Board of the Directors of the West Virginia Police Canine Association and past secretary and is the current president of the West Virginia Deputy Sheriffs’ Association.
In the community he is a member of the Chester Sons of the American Legion, past member on the board of the Chester Sons of the American Legion as first vice, was the director of the Oak Glen Jr. Bears Basketball, and served on the board of Oak Glen Jr. Baseball. Scott was the Oak Glen Middle School boys basketball coach and presently serves as the Oak Glen High School golf coach. Gittings and his wife Kelly are active in their support of the Brooke-Hancock Relay for Life.
He is the son of the late William Gittings who retired from the Weirton Steel Corporation and the late Mary Gittings who was a longtime assistant store manager of Sherwin Williams Paints in Weirton. He is a past member of the Weirton First Church of the Nazarene and currently attends Everyday Church in Chester, where he is the director of safety.