CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Raleigh County Democrat Ron Thompson is no longer a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates.
Other House members voted Thursday morning to declare Thompson's seat vacant, following his nearly year-long absence from the Legislature. The resolution says Thompson violated a provision of the state constitution stating that lawmakers forfeit their seats when they refuse to take their oath of office.
This action makes Thompson the first state legislator in West Virginia, and perhaps the country, to be removed from office this way.
Besides missing all of last year's legislative meetings since March, Thompson failed to appear for last month's swearing-in of the new Legislature. Thompson, who was re-elected to a seventh term in November, has also been absent from the ongoing 60-session, which hit its midpoint today.
He was given a last chance to explain himself early Thursday, but did not show up. Thompson has not responded to numerous media requests for comment.
Click the link above to view the entire story from NewsChannel 3's Jennifer Cottrill.