West Virginia lawmakers vote to impeach entire state Supreme Court
A West Virginia state legislative committee has voted to impeach all four justices who sit on the state Supreme Court, over a number of accusations.
The state judiciary committee approved 14 articles of impeachment Tuesday against the justices after eight days of meetings. The charges against Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justices Robin Davis, Allen Loughry and Beth Walker include maladministration, corruption, incompetency, neglect of duty and certain “high crimes.”
The articles of impeachment mention “unnecessary and lavish” spending of taxpayer dollars in renovating the jurists’ offices.
Loughry is the subject of eight articles of impeachment, charged with unauthorized use of state vehicles, having state-owned computers and furniture in his home, using state funds to frame personal items for display and exceeding his authority by authorizing payments to judges.
Loughry is also involved in 23-count federal indictment, which includes charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, making false statements to a federal agent, obstruction of justice and witness tampering. He was suspended from the bench in June and his trial is set for October.
Workman and Davis are the subject of four articles that also include unauthorized payments. Workman is also accused of hiring a computer worker as a political favor. Walker is the subject of two.
There are five seats on West Virginia’s Supreme Court, but one is vacant. Justice Menis Ketchum reigned last month and was not mentioned in the impeachment articles.
The committee’s questions in the articles largely concern clarification of evidence, and whether certain actions violated court policies or state law.
The recommendation for impeachment will now be considered by the state’s full House of Delegates. Speaker Pro Tempore John Overington said the House will convene on Monday.
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