W.Va. touted for new FBI facility

WASHINGTON – The 3rd District representative from West Virginia promoted the state for the site of a new FBI headquarters.

Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., the top Democrat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that oversees public buildings, on Wednesday encouraged the Bureau not to discount the quality of life that its employees could enjoy in the Mountain Sate.

Rahall supported West Virginia following testimony the committee received congressmen representing Maryland and Virginia that are competing for the new FBI headquarters.

“While these titans of the beltway lock horns, let us all remember that there is a calm, safe and serene environment in ‘Almost Heaven’ in which our hardworking and dedicated FBI employees can work – West Virginia,” Rahall said.

The largest division of the FBI, the Criminal Justice Information Services Division, is located in Clarksburg where the FBI owns 1,000 acres which could accommodate future expansion, Rahall said.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center, a collaboration between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, has a facility in Fairmont, he said.

A decision on the relocation of the FBI’s headquarters, which has outgrown its space on Pennsylvania Avenue between the U.S. Capitol and the White House, is expected in the coming year.

“It has been reported that following the CJIS’s move from downtown Washington, D.C., FBI executives have cited sharply lower employee absentee rates and improved employee retention rates,” said Rahall. “The benefits of West Virginia as a home for federal facilities are abundant and our agencies would do well to consider the community where the FBI and other agencies have thrived over the past 20 years.”