The West Virginia Personnel Board has voted to eliminate civil service protection for the state Budget Office director.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the vote Thursday will take effect Saturday, as the Budget Director Mike McKown's joins the State Auditor's Office as a deputy auditor.
In 2000, then-Gov. Cecil Underwood issued executive orders giving civil service protection to multiple state government positions. Underwood's orders followed legislation that passed the Senate. It stated that effective government requires state employees hold political beliefs and party commitments that are consistent with or compatible with the governor's.
The legislation's critics said it was designed to make it easier to fire Underwood appointees if he lost re-election. The bill died in the House of Delegates and Underwood lost that November.