WEIRTON - Hancock County Assistant Prosecutor William Fahey was found dead in his Weirton home on Monday, officials said.
Fahey, 64, was found by Weirton police after family members asked them to check on his welfare, according to Hancock County Prosecutor Jim Davis.
Fahey had health issues and had not been heard from since Saturday, Hancock County Commissioner Dan Greathouse explained.
An assistant prosecutor since 1991, Fahey handled all kinds of cases for the prosecutor's office over the course of his career, Davis said. He also maintained a law practice in Weirton.
"Bill had one of the finest legal minds of anyone I've ever worked with," Davis said. "He was excellent in handling a lot of the litigation (against the county). He saved the county probably hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years."
Davis said Fahey handled criminal cases earlier in his career, and most recently was the attorney for the Hancock County Commission and Hancock County Schools.
"He was very knowledgeable about the law. Very fair," Davis said.
Greathouse said Fahey was a staple at county commission meetings and will be missed.
"Bill was a valuable public servant," Greathouse said. "We depended on him to make decisions for us. He always got back to us quickly and gave us good advice."
Fahey also represented the school district. In October 2012, when the school board held an auction to sell two old football stadiums, Fahey was there representing the interests of the district.
In January 2011, the West Virginia Ethics Commission ruled that the school board could buy a piece of Pennsylvania Avenue property from Fahey for the construction of the new Weirton Elementary School.
Davis said he has not yet made a decision on how to fill Fahey's position.
"We're just going to try to pick up and do the best we can for the present time," he said.
In addition to Davis, the prosecutor's office has one full-time assistant - Jack Wood - and two part-time assistants.
(Huba can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)