CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State Aviation Director Keith A. Wood, a pilot who has flown state aircraft for five West Virginia governors, is stepping down.
Also, state Real Estate Director Chuck Lawrence has resigned with plans to take a similar job in Tennessee state government.
Wood, who oversees all state aviation operations and the state hangar at Yeager Airport, plans to retire effective April 30. Wood flies the state King Air 35 and Cessna Grand Caravan airplanes, as well as state helicopters. He supervises four pilots and six other workers in the Aviation Division.
Wood, who's paid $87,852 a year, has worked as a state pilot since 1992. He was promoted from pilot to aviation director in 2005. He has flown for governors Gaston Caperton, Cecil Underwood, Bob Wise, Joe Manchin and Earl Ray Tomblin.
As a state pilot, Wood accumulated more than more 10,000 flight-hours and flew 12,000 passengers.
Before working in state government, he retired from the U.S. Army, serving as a military intelligence officer. His service included a stint as a counter-intelligence advisor to Gen. Norman H. Schwarzkoph during the Persian Gulf War. He also worked for the National Intelligence Agency, overseeing 300 employees and 25 aircraft in three countries.
Wood is one of five state employees challenging the state Public Employees Retirement System over military service credits used to calculate pensions. The case is pending before the state Supreme Court.
Lawrence started working as West Virginia government's first real estate director in 2007.
The Real Estate Division, which is housed under the Department of Administration, provides leasing, appraisals and other services for state agencies. As director, Lawrence, who makes $89,054 a year, oversees the leasing of any grounds, buildings, offices or other space required by any department in the state. The state has more than 700 leases.
He previously worked as a corporate real estate director for Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati.
Lawrence's resignation takes effect March 15. The Real Estate Division has 22 employees.
Administration Secretary Ross Taylor said Tuesday he has already started looking for candidates to hire for the aviation and real estate directors' posts.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.