|CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today the retirement of West Virginia Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeff Sandy, effective July 31, 2023.|
“Jeff Sandy has done an amazing job as Secretary of Homeland Security,” Gov. Justice said. “He’s an honorable man who’s helped my administration in countless ways, and we will greatly miss his tireless work. I can never thank him enough for his service these past seven years and I wish him the absolute best in his retirement.”
Gov. Justice presented Sandy with a Distinguished West Virginian Award earlier today.
Gov. Justice also announced today that he has appointed Mark Sorsaia as Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security, effective August 1, 2023.
“Mark is incredibly qualified to take the helm of this important agency, and I look forward to working closely with him,” Gov. Justice said.
|About Jeff Sandy:|
Sandy is a Wood County native and former partner in Perry Forensic Investigations LLC, after working 25 years as a Special Agent with the U.S. Treasury’s Criminal Investigation Division. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist.
During his tenure as Secretary of Homeland Security, he has overseen many agency successes. He oversaw the reorganization of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety as the Department of Homeland Security in 2020. He also oversaw the consolidation of our jails, prisons, and juvenile centers into one unit.
View Sandy’s retirement letter here.
In 2008, Sandy was elected Sheriff of Wood County. As Sheriff, Sandy modernized his office with new equipment and new investigative strategies. He was appointed to serve on the Board of the Regional Jail Authority. In 2012, he was elected Chairman of the Regional Jail Board. Sandy also served on the Board of the West Virginia Sheriff’s Association. He worked in Iraq on counter-terrorism missions and to trace Saddam Hussein’s hidden assets to keep them from being used by terrorists. His achievements were featured on ABC’s World News Tonight (view here). Since 9/11, Sandy has been part of the elite Department of Justice-funded SLATT Team (State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training) that has trained over 140,000 United States law enforcement officers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
During his time in the U.S. Department of Treasury, he earned over 100 awards, including West Virginia Mid-Ohio Valley “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year”, U.S. Department of Treasury Employee of the Year, and the second highest medal awarded by the Department of Defense, and the highest award issued by the Department of the Treasury for his investigative work in Iraq concerning the United Nations Oil for Food Fraud, Terrorism Funding, and the tracing of Saddam Hussein’s hidden assets.
Jeff and his wife Renee have 3 children that are graduates of Marshall University. Ben and Matt are Certified Public Accountants, and Brittany is a school teacher specializing in special education.
About Mark Sorsaia:
Mark Sorsaia started his career as an assistant prosecuting attorney in 1988 and was elected as the Prosecuting Attorney of Putnam County West Virginia in 1996. Mark is currently serving in his fifth term as Prosecuting Attorney.
Mark has served in leadership positions in various organizations relating to the criminal justice system. He is a past vice president of the West Virginia Association of Counties. He has served on the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Association and has served as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute. Mark has served as West Virginia’s representative on the Board of Directors of the National District Attorneys Association and was also a member of The Board of Regents of the National College of District Attorneys and the National District Attorneys Association.
As a prosecutor, Mark has focused his attention over the years on continuing legal education for the law enforcement community in general. Mark regularly participates as an instructor in continuing education programs for the state prosecuting attorneys association, as well as for law enforcement at the West Virginia State Police Academy. He has also been a guest lecturer at West Virginia State College, as well as at the FBI Academy located in Quantico VA, and at the FBI District Field Office Pittsburgh Division, and the FBI National Academy Associates West Virginia Chapter. Mark was very active for several years as a legal instructor at the National Advocacy Center, which was a national training center for America’s Prosecutors, located on the campus of the University of South Carolina. As a legal instructor, Mark’s focused on the use of forensic science in the courtroom, trial advocacy, the prosecution of homicide and sexual assault cases, and professional ethics.
Mark is married to Cynthia, who is an elementary teacher at Hurricane Elementary School. Mark and Cynthia have two children.