The Volokh Conspiracy

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Impeachment Proceedings Against All Four West Virginia Supreme Court Justices

"The articles of impeachment charge Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justices Robin Davis, Allen Loughry and Beth Walker with maladministration, corruption, incompetency, neglect of duty and certain high crimes." (The fifth Justice has already resigned.)


I don't know much about the controversy, but it seemed noteworthy; here's an excerpt of an article from the Charleston Gazette-Mail (Lacie Pierson) that my local correspondent recommended:

Each justice is charged with "unnecessary and lavish" spending of state taxpayer dollars to renovate their offices in the East Wing of the Capitol. All four of them also are charged with failing to develop and maintain court policies regarding the use of state resources, including cars, computers and funds in general.

Loughry faces additional charges related to his alleged use of state vehicles for personal travel, having state furniture and computers in his home, having personal photos, documents, photos and artwork framed on the state's dime, and handing down an administrative order authorizing payments of senior status judges in excess of what is allowable in state law.

Davis and Workman are charged with signing documents authorizing that senior status judges be paid in excess of what's allowable in state law….

Ketchum [the Justice who had resigned] agreed to plead guilty to one count of federal wire fraud, according to a plea agreement announced by U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart last week.

Loughry is the subject of a 23-count federal indictment charging him with 16 counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, three counts of making false statements to a federal agent, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of witness tampering.

The charges appear not to be focused on the Justices' substantive decisions, but there is a possible political dimension:

Delegate Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha, also suggested the nature of grouping all of the justices into one set of articles of impeachment appeared to be an attempt to allow Republican Gov. Jim Justice an opportunity to appoint four of the five Supreme Court justices for at least two years on the bench.

Though any good Russian has to respect a man with that last name, I do not know what role partisan politics is playing in this process. (The current Justices are two Democrats and two Republicans.)

Thanks to Jeremy Cooper for the pointer.