Justice Taps Consultant, Former State BOE Member To Run 2 Agencies

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Gov.-elect Jim Justice has chosen an energy industry consultant to head West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s wife to head his Department of Education and the Arts.

Austin Caperton is president of Caperton Inc. and has been vice chairman of the West Virginia Public Energy Authority.

He is cousin of former Democratic Gov. Gaston Caperton.

Justice, an outdoorsman who owns coal mines, says Caperton has the management experience to make the agency run efficiently.

The department handles mining and drilling licensing, pollution cleanups and environmental protection.

Gayle Manchin was on the state Board of Education from 2007 to 2015.

She will head a department that oversees state cultural programs, public broadcasting, volunteer services, teaching and library support and vocational programs for the disabled.