Rampant corruption among state’s top judicial body…
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) The West Virginia House of Delegates impeached four of the state’s five Supreme Court Justices for maladministration, incompetency, and neglect of duty, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.
A 13-hour legislative session on Monday, Aug. 13 ended with the House approving 11 out of 14 articles of impeachment brought from the House Judiciary Committee.
The Senate will consider the articles of impeachment, investigate the charges, and remove the justices from office if members find them guilty.
Justice Allen Loughry, a Republican elected in 2016, faced eight articles of impeachment related to $363,000 he spent on office renovations, The Hill reported.
He allegedly took for home use state-owned property including a $42,000 antique desk and computers.
He also used a state vehicle, given for his commute from Huntington to Charleston, to travel to golf clubs in Bristol, Virginia multiple times.
On the trips, he reportedly used credit cards provided by the state for official expenses.
Justice Robin Davis, a Democrat, retired on Aug. 14 after she was impeached for using $500,000 to renovate her office.
She retired immediately because today is the last day an elected official can step down with a special election occuring during the 2018 elections.
West Virginia law requires justices to step down 84 days prior to an election.
Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, will still appoint a successor to Davis, but that appointee will face an immediate challenge in November.
Chief Justice Margaret Workman was not impeached for spending $111,000 on office renovations.
Instead, the House of Delegates impeached her for allowing senior judges to receive higher wages than the law permits. Davis and Loughry faced impeachment charges for this, too.
The House of Delegates overlooked Justice Beth Walker’s $131,000 spent on office renovations and impeached her for abuse of authority instead.
Justice Menis Ketchum resigned from the court on July 11 and plead guilty to wire fraud, a felony, on July 31.
Two justices resigned. The remaining three will face trial in the Senate.
Gov. Justice will have the opportunity to appoint successors for three seats that will not face reelection until 2020, while the seats of Ketchum and Davis will be filled by Gov. Justice before the people get to vote in November.