UPDATE: W.Va. Senate President rejects proposed agreement to let 2 SUPCO justices keep seats

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ/WV MetroNews/AP) -- UPDATE 9/11/18 @ 3:40 p.m.
West Virginia's Senate president has rejected a proposed agreement that would have allowed two impeached Supreme Court justices to keep their seats.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael said a resolution that would have censured justices Beth Walker and Margaret Workman was out of order.

Ohio County Republican Sen. Ryan Ferns had objected to the resolution to approve the agreement, saying it was premature to make a decision without hearing any evidence. After a brief conference, Carmichael agreed.

The deal had been reached between attorneys for the two justices and House of Delegates managers serving as prosecutors in upcoming impeachment trials. Under the agreement, Walker and Workman would have taken responsibility for the cost of renovating their offices and continued to implement reforms to improve the court's administration.

Instead, impeachment trial dates were set for Oct. 1 for Walker and Oct. 15 for Workman.

In addition, a Nov. 12 trial date was set for suspended Justice Allen Loughry.



UPDATE 9/11/18 @ 11:44 a.m.
An agreement with West Virginia Supreme Court Justices Margaret Workman and Beth Walker has been announced. It involves censure and dropping the articles of impeachment against them.

The state Senate is gathering Monday for a pretrial hearing on the impeachment of the remaining members of the Supreme Court.

The settlement that was just announced — censuring justices Workman and Walker — is huge, our media partner WV MetroNews reports.

House Judiciary Chairman John Shott says the agreement reached includes acceptance and responsibility by Walker and Workman to work toward greater responsibility and greater accountability for the court. He says this will also provide continuity for the court.

Lawyers for each of the two justices who are subject to censure and a settlement agreement have been addressing the Senate Monday morning.

Ben Bailey, the lawyer for Justice Workman, acknowledges deep problems with the Court. But, Bailey says, “Most of what the House set out to achieve, has been achieved.”

Mike Hissam, lawyer for Justice Walker, says she is prepared to go to trial. “Nevertheless, Justice Walker has acknowledged responsibility for the court’s spending. She has pledged to move toward improving the court’s policies, its processes, its oversight of spending.”

Shott said the settlement will begin to rebuild trust, will provide continuity and will help to focus the main effort on an impeachment trial on Justice Allen Loughry, who faces the most charges and the most public outrage.

Shott began by talking about Article 14, which is the overriding maladministration article that mentions all of the remaining justices. He’s talking about the challenge of presenting that article at 4 separate trials.

“It’s pretty clear that there’s one party who is most culpable and our primary goal is to make sure that party is held accountable,” Shott says, referring to Justice Allen Loughry.

Shott says there have been discussions with justices Workman and Walker, who face comparatively few charges, and those discussions are leading to a resolution that will achieve the goal.

UPDATE 9/11/18 @ 10:10 a.m.
The state Senate gathers at 10 a.m. today for a pretrial hearing on the impeachment of the remaining members of the Supreme Court.

Our media partner WV MetroNews was told that Justice Allen Loughry will be there live and in person Monday. There is no word yet about the other justices.

The House of Delegates last month passed 11 articles of impeachment dealing with the justices’ administrative and spending decisions. Essentially, the article claims the justices failed to hold each other accountable. All of the remaining justices were named in that article.

Justices Margaret Workman, Allen Loughry, Robin Davis, and Beth Walker are accused of wasting millions of dollars in taxpayer money on "lavish" and "unnecessary" things like office renovations.

Managers from the House of Delegates will be presenting the cases, almost as prosecutors.

The managers had included House Judiciary Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer; Judiciary Vice Chairman Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay; Delegate Ray Hollen, R-Wirt; Delegate Rodney Miller, D-Boone; and Delegate Andrew Byrd, D-Kanawha.

The House managers, serving as prosecutors, have filed a motion in opposition to Justice Beth Walker’s motion to be dismissed from the single impeachment article that names her.

But late last month, Hanshaw was elected to be the new House speaker. So, a motion was filed to substitute in Delegate Geoff Foster, R-Putnam, as a manager in place of Hanshaw.

Foster is on the House Judiciary Committee and serves as the assistant majority whip in the House.

Some motions have already come in over the past few days.

Lawyers for Chief Justice Margaret Workman are asking for an impeachment trial date of no sooner than Oct. 15.

The lawyers for Workman also say they plan to submit at least a dozen different motions to dismiss the impeachment charges against her. Lawyers for Justice Beth Walker on Friday afternoon filed a motion to dismiss Walker from the single article naming her.

The House managers, serving as prosecutors, have filed a motion in opposition to Justice Beth Walker’s motion to be dismissed from the single impeachment article that names her. Walker, who was elected in 2016, was named in only one of the 11 impeachment articles passed last month by the House of Delegates.

That article accuses all four remaining justices of failing to establish policies about remodeling state offices, travel budgets, computers for home use and framing of personal items.

Because the only article that mentions Walker is that one, her lawyers have asked to be dismissed.

“In short, there is not a single allegation in Article XIV against Justice Walker individually — only generalized allegations against the court as a collective body,” her lawyers wrote. “Removal cannot rest on such allegations as a matter of logic or law.”

UPDATE 8/21/18 @ 6:40 p.m.
Senate members received an update regarding the next phase of the impeachment investigation against four of West Virginia’s Supreme Court justices.

According to a release from the Senate clerk, four Supreme Court Justices received a summons to make an appearance on Sept. 11, 2018, at 10 a.m. in the Senate chambers.

Those justices are Chief Justice Workman, Justice Beth Walker, Justice Allen Loughry, and Justice Robin Davis.

Davis retired earlier this month the same day the House of Delegates voted to impeach those justices. Loughry is currently suspended from the bench as he faces, not only this impeachment investigation, but a federal indictment.

The justices of the high court are accused of wasting taxpayer money on lavish and unnecessary office renovations, among other allegations.

The Senate will sit as the Court of Impeachment, serving as the jurors. If the Senate votes to convict, the case will move to the pre-trial conference phase. It is possible that the trial dates for the justices could be set by the presiding officer during that phase.

It will take a two-thirds vote in the Senate to remove a justice from office.



UPDATE 8/20/18 @ 5:23 p.m.
The state Senate has agreed upon and established rules for the impeachment trials for the remaining West Virginia Supreme Court justices.

Senate Resolution 203 was passed on Monday. Justices Margaret Workman, Beth Walker and suspended justice, Allen Loughry, will have separate jury trials.

The resolution consists of 34 rules from pre-trial conferences to the floor privileges, down to verdict and judgement.

West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Workman, Justice Walker, and Justice Loughry's jobs are on the line. Justice Robin Davis retired a week ago -- the same day the House of Delegates voted to impeach all remaining justices on the bench. Justice Menis Ketchum retired/resigned in July. Ketchum not only resigned, but will plead guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud.

The justices of the high court are accused of wasting taxpayer money on lavish and unnecessary office renovations among other allegations.

It will take a two-thirds vote in the Senate to remove a justice from office.

Senator Mike Woelfel, D-Cabell, raised concerns Monday over the order of the trials and the timing of the trials.

"The first impeachment article names justice Loughry, so I think there's a reason for that being first. That's the first matter they (the House of Delegates) took up," Woelfel told WSAZ. "And Justice Loughry has been so adamant about his innocence so I think it would be only fair that Justice Loughry go first. Give him his day first and let him clear his name."

There is urgency to complete the trials before a new legislature is seated next year. However, Chairman Charles Trump, R-Morgan, says he's not concerned with more than four months until a new Legislature is seated.

"I think that's ample time," Trump said.

The date for the trials has not been set. It will be determined by Senate President Mitch Carmichael.

Trump says there has been talk of the trials starting when the Senate comes back for the interim on Sept. 17 and 18 or earlier that week.

Cabell Circuit Judge Paul Farrell will preside over the impeachment trials.



UPDATE 8/20/18 @ 12:37 p.m.
A resolution that would impeach the entire West Virginia Supreme Court will now be heard on the Senate floor Monday.

Watch the session live.

If the Senate votes to adopt the resolution, the impeachment trial will begin. The House of Delegates already approved the resolution to impeach.

The state senators will also debate a few other resolutions Monday. Lawmakers are expected to adopt Senate Resolution 203, Adoption of Court of Impeachment Rules, which will establish the rules of impeachment proceedings in the Senate. After all, this is an unprecedented situation for the legislature.

Another piece of legislation, Senate Joint Resolution 201, is a proposal to amend the state constitution and change the Supreme Court term limits. It would change the term from 12 years to eight. Senators Woelfel, Unger, Baldwin, and Beach introduced the resolution.

Finally, lawmakers will discuss Senate Bill 2001. It amends the state code to allow for a special election if the justices are impeached.

West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman, Justice Beth Walker, and Justice Allen Loughry's jobs are on the line. Justice Robin Davis retired a week ago -- the same day the House of Delegates voted to impeach all remaining justices on the bench. Justice Menis Ketchum retired/resigned in July. Ketchum not only resigned, but will plead guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud.

The justices of the high court are accused of wasting taxpayer money on lavish and unnecessary office renovations among other allegations.

This historic investigation comes after Justice Loughry was indicted on 23 federal charges. (The original indictment included 22 charges, but a superseding indictment made it 23.) The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, making false statements to a federal agent and obstruction of justice.

The West Virginia Judicial Commission also filed 32 formal charges against Loughry in June. The scope of these proceedings, though, covers all the Supreme Court justices.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay. He previously pleaded not guilty to the federal indictment.

Tuesday is the filing deadline for candidates who would like to fill one of the vacancies on the bench.

The JVAC will interview the candidates seeking to fill the vacancies left behind by Davis and Ketchum on Aug. 23. Gov. Jim Justice will then appoint someone to fill the vacancy up until the November election. That's when voters will choose a justice to fill the seat for the remaining two years of Ketchum's term. If nobody applies to be on the ballot, the temporary replacement appointed by the governor will finish the term.

If the Senate does vote to remove Loughry, Workman, and Walker from office, it is past the deadline for those seats to be on the November ballot. Therefore, those vacancies will also go through the JVAC process. The governor will appoint those positions and the seats will be on the 2020 ballot.

UPDATE 8/14/18 @ 11:15 p.m.
The timing of former Justice Robin Davis' retirement is significant. It comes just 24 hours before the deadline that means the difference between the people choosing her replacement, or the governor making an appointment.

The filing period for Davis' seat starts Wednesday, and according to the Secretary of State's website, five people have already filed to run for the seat vacated by Menis Ketchum who resigned and will plead guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud.

Candidates have less than three months until election day. Tom Susman has been involved in government consulting for more than 30 years. He says because of the short time period, it's going to be hard for certain candidates. "Whoever runs is either going to have to have a lot of money, or a lot of name recognition, or both. Because there is a short period to get your name out," he said.

He also says typically a bid for a seat on the state's high court needs to start a year out, "Get out, begin to meet people, go to the bean dinners, the chicken dinners, go to the women's club, go to the newspapers, the TV stations, begin to get your name out there, it's a process."

The filing period for anyone who wants to become a candidate will end on August 21st.

UPDATE 8/14/18 @ 4:31 p.m.
Not long after West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman publicly stated she would not resign from the bench, Justice Beth Walker released a similar statement:

"I remain committed to my oath of office and to serving the citizens of this great state," Walker stated in a press release. "My focus will be on earning their trust and confidence and restoring integrity to their Supreme Court. Even though I disagree with some of the decisions of the House of Delegates, I respect their important constitutional role in this process and I take full responsibility for my actions and decisions. I look forward to explaining those actions and decisions before the State Senate. In my short time as a Justice, I have been committed to greater transparency and accountability in the judicial branch. I will continue that commitment as a justice and while before the State Senate. I agree that expenditures prior to my election were ill-advised, excessive and needed greater oversight. As an important part of our government’s checks and balances, I will work with the legislature and support their oversight of the Court’s budget."

Workman also said she refuses to resign.

Earlier in the day, Justice Robin Davis announced her retirement. Gov. Jim Justice called for a special session to fill Davis' position. Candidate filing will begin Wednesday, Aug. 15. Justice Menis Ketchum retired/resigned in July. Candidates have begun filing for his position as well. Voters will fill those two vacancies during the general election Nov. 6.

Justice Ketchum's position on the non-partisan ballot will be called "Division 1" and Justice Davis' position will be "Division 2." Anyone interested in either position has until midnight Aug. 21 to formally file.

That leaves Justice Allen Loughry, Walker, and Workman to face the Senate for an impeachment trial.

Loughry's attorney tells WSAZ the justice has no comment at this time.

Tuesday is the deadline for a justice to resign from the state Supreme Court and allow voters to replace them in November.

The House of Delegates voted Monday to impeach the entire state Supreme Court after going through evidence and questioning witnesses. The justices are accused of wasting taxpayer money on "lavish" and "unnecessary" things like major office renovations.

Now, House Democratic leaders are calling on Loughry to step down:

“Justice Loughry is the reason that the House of Delegates began to investigate the Supreme Court,” House Minority Whip Mike Caputo (D-Marion) stated. “Justice Loughry has cast the judiciary branch into turmoil with federal criminal charges and Judicial Investigation Commission charges pending as a result of his illegal use of state resources for personal gain.”

House Judiciary Committee (tasked with leading the impeachment investigation) Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer responded to the justices' announcements:

“We thank Justice Davis for her decades of service on the bench, and for her retirement, which will now spare the state the cost of an impeachment trial against her. As we have said many times throughout these proceedings, this is a sad time for the state of West Virginia, and no one takes joy in this process. We also respect Chief Justice Workman and Justice Walker’s decisions to remain on the court while they present their case before the Senate. An important thing to remember: these articles of impeachment do not accuse the justices of failing in their role as jurists in deciding how to apply the Constitution to the cases before the Court. Rather, these articles charge the justices with a failure to fulfill their duty to properly oversee and administer the operations of the judicial branch of government. As Chief Justice Workman told the Legislature’s Post Audits Committee in April, ‘We were busy being judges and not perhaps paying enough attention to administrative things.’ That failure in administration has led to the articles of impeachment they now face today. When we began this proceeding, our committee was asked to look at the entire court and each justice individually, and we followed where the evidence led and tried to pursue it in a nonpartisan way. There were no pre-determined outcomes and nobody involved in the process had any idea where it would ultimately lead – and we certainly had no intention to use it as a tool to usurp the judicial branch of government. Unfortunately, as we pursued the evidence, it became clear that the state Supreme Court has been overcome by a culture of entitlement and cavalier indifference with regard to the spending of taxpayer money. This has resulted in the public’s loss of confidence in the state's highest court which must be repaired. I believe Justice Davis’s decision to resign, as well as the coming trials in the state Senate, will help move us toward the ultimate goal of restoring our citizens’ trust in the judiciary.”

UPDATE 8/14/18 @ 4 p.m.
Chief Justice Margaret Workman released a statement Tuesday saying she will not resign during this controversial time for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

The House of Delegates voted to impeach Workman Monday along with three other justices. Removing the entire Supreme Court would be historic in the state.

"I was dismayed by the House of Delegates’ decision yesterday to pursue the mass impeachment of the entire West Virginia Supreme Court," Workman stated in a press release. "I will miss my colleague and friend, Justice Robin Jean Davis, but respect the reasons she chose to retire. I am not resigning, either from the Court or from my position as Chief Justice. There is no basis for my impeachment, and I will continue to do the work, both administrative and judicial, that the people of West Virginia elected me to do. I want the citizens of our state to know that the Court will move forward. The cases set for the fall term, which opens September 5, will be heard and decided as scheduled. I look forward to putting all the facts before the Senate in the next phase of this process."

Justices Margaret Workman, Allen Loughry, Robin Davis, and Beth Walker are accused of wasting millions of dollars in taxpayer money on "lavish" and "unnecessary" things like office renovations.

Davis announced Tuesday that she retired effective Aug. 13 -- the same day the House voted to impeach.

If they do not follow suit and retire or resign, Loughry, Workman, and Walker will go on trial before the state Senate.

UPDATE 8/14/18 @ 10:08 a.m.
With her job on the line and impeachment a looming possibility, Justice Robin Davis announced her retirement Tuesday.

In a press conference, Davis said her retirement took effect Monday, Aug. 13.

"I deliver this statement today in dismay, disbelief, and in sadness," Davis said. "I feel profound grief for the state of West Virginia given the current state of affairs. What we are witnessing is a disaster for the rule of law, the foundation of our state, and indeed our own society. For when a legislative body attempts to dismantle a separate branch of government, the immediate effects, as well as the precedent it sets for the future, can only be deemed disastrous."

Monday is the same day is when the West Virginia House of Delegates voted to impeach all four of the state's Supreme Court justices.

Justices Allen Loughry, Margaret Workman, Robin Davis and Beth Walker are accused of wasting millions of dollars in taxpayer money on "lavish" and "unnecessary" things like office renovations.

The remaining three justices will now go on trial before the state Senate.

"The will of the people of West Virginia is being denied."

At the press conference Tuesday, Davis said the House Judiciary Committee (the body that investigated the justices before turning it over to the full House) investigated without due process of law. Davis said the members "skipped from one subject to another intentionally" and that the majority members "ignored the will of the people who elected the justices of this court."

Davis took pride in her work, particularly the cases that she ruled on that were challenged at the United State Supreme Court of Appeals. The court has upheld all of Davis' opinions, she said.

"I have always put my faith in the people of the great state of West Virginia," Davis said. "The people of West Virginia have honored me on three separate occasions by electing me to be a justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. I have returned that faith by honorably serving the people of West Virginia for 22, almost 22, years."

"We judges weigh evidence as part of our jobs," Davis said. "Unfortunately, the evidence clearly shows that the preconceived, result-driven mania among the majority party members in the legislature cannot result in a just and fair outcome."

UPDATE 8/14/18 @ 12:32 a.m.
The West Virginia House of Delegates has voted to impeach all four of the state's Supreme Court justices.

The Republican-led House on Monday night impeached Justice Beth Walker and the other justices for abusing their authority. The article says they failed to control office expenses and not maintaining policies over important matters such as working lunches, the use of state vehicles and office computers at home.

Walker was the last of the four justices to be impeached. She had avoided impeachment earlier when the House voted not to pass an article against her for $131,000 in renovations she made after taking office last year.

Justice Walker, suspended Justice Allen Loughry, Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justice Robin Davis will now go on trial before the W.Va. Senate.

Loughry was suspended earlier this year and has pleaded not guilty to a 23-count federal indictment.

UPDATE 8/13/18 @ 11:57 p.m.
The final Article of Impeachment that names all four West Virginia Supreme Court Justices has been approved by members of the West Virginia House of Delegates 51-44.

This move means that all four of the remaining West Virginia Supreme Court Justices will now go on trial before the W.Va. Senate.

The article says that Justices Allen Loughry, Margaret Workman, Robin Davis and Beth Walker should have held each other accountable for lavish spending of taxpayer dollars, and failed to provide or prepare oversight on the issues that are impeachable.

Here is the language of Article 14:

That the said Chief Justice Margaret Workman, Justice Allen Loughry, Justice Robin Davis, and Justice Elizabeth Walker, being at all times relevant Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, unmindful of the duties of their high offices, and contrary to the oaths taken by them to support the Constitution of the State of West Virginia and faithfully discharge the duties of their offices as such Justices, while in the exercise of the functions of the office of Justices, in violation of their oaths of office, then and there, with regard to the discharge of the duties of their offices, did, in the absence of any policy to prevent or control expenditure, waste state funds with little or no concern for the costs to be borne by the tax payers for unnecessary and lavish spending for various purposes including, but without limitation, to certain examples, such as: to remodel state offices, for large increases in travel budgets-including unaccountable personal use of state vehicles, for unneeded computers for home use, for regular lunches from restaurants, and for framing of personal items and other such wasteful expenditure not necessary for the administration of justice and the execution of the duties of the Court; and, did fail to provide or prepare reasonable and proper supervisory oversight of the operations of the Court and the subordinate courts by failing to carry out one or more of the following necessary and proper administrative activities:

A) To prepare and adopt sufficient and effective travel policies prior to October of 2016, and failed thereafter to properly effectuate such policy by excepting the Justices from said policies, and subjected subordinates and employees to a greater burden than the Justices;

B) To report taxable fringe benefits, such as car use and regular lunches, on Federal W-2s, despite full knowledge of the Internal Revenue Service Regulations, and further subjected subordinates and employees to a greater burden than the Justices, in this regard, and upon notification of such violation, failed to speedily comply with requests to make such reporting consistent with applicable law;

C) To provide proper supervision, control, and auditing of the use of state purchasing cards leading to multiple violations of state statutes and policies regulating the proper use of such cards, including failing to obtain proper prior approval for large purchases;

D) To prepare and adopt sufficient and effective home office policies which would govern the Justices' home computer use, and which led to a lack of oversight which encouraged the conversion of property;

E) To provide effective supervision and control over record keeping with respect to the use of state automobiles, which has already resulted in an executed information upon one former Justice and the indictment of another Justice.

F) To provide effective supervision and control over inventories of state property owned by the Court and subordinate courts, which led directly to the undetected absence of valuable state property, including, but not limited to, a state-owned desk and a state-owned computer;

G) To provide effective supervision and control over purchasing procedures which directly led to inadequate cost containment methods, including the rebidding of the purchases of goods and services utilizing a system of large unsupervised change orders, all of which encouraged waste of taxpayer funds.

The failure by the Justices, individually and collectively, to carry out these necessary and proper administrative activities constitute a violation of the provisions of Canon I and Canon II of the West Virginia Code of Judicial Conduct.

UPDATE 8/13/18 @ 11:25 p.m.
A West Virginia Supreme Court justice has avoided impeachment - for now.

The House of Delegates on Monday night cleared Justice Beth Walker of an impeachment article for spending $131,000 on renovations after taking office last year.

Walker still faces another article that accuses her and the three other justices of abusing their authority by failing to control office expenses and not maintaining policies over critical matters.

Some lawmakers said they didn't condone Walker's spending but said it paled in comparison to other justices.

Lawmakers then voted a short time later to withdraw an impeachment charge against Chief Justice Margaret Workman over $111,000 in renovations to her office.

Workman, suspended Justice Allen Loughry and Justice Robin Davis were impeached on other articles earlier.

UPDATE 8/13/18 @ 10:30 p.m.
Delegates voted 44 ayes, 51 nays against an article that would have impeached Justice Beth Walker over her office renovation.

Chairman John Shott then asked to withdraw an article about Workman's spending, saying it is even less than Walker's was.

Shott makes motion to withdraw the article about Justice Workman's spending on her office. 56 ayes, 39 nays, five absences. So the article is withdrawn.

UPDATE 8/13/18 @ 8:02 p.m.
An article of impeachment against Justice Allen Loughry has been withdrawn for lack of documentary evidence.

The article dealt with personal pictures and items being put in customized picture frames paid for with state money. According Article 11 the items were "removed from his state office and converted to his personal use and benefit, which acts constitute the use of state resources and property for personal gain in violation of the provisions of W.Va. Code §6B-2-5."

Despite Article 11 being dropped the indicted West Virginia Supreme Court justice has been impeached on four more charges, bringing the number of charges to six that he could face at trial in the state Senate.

The House of Delegates on Monday night impeached Justice Allen Loughry on a charge of lying to the House Finance Committee about his involvement in lavish office renovations.

Lawmakers unanimously impeached him on charges of driving state vehicles for personal use and of using state-owned computers at his home.

Loughry, Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justice Robin Davis also were impeached for their roles in allowing senior status judges to be paid higher than allowed wages.

Another impeachment article was withdrawn dealing with an accusation Loughry used state money to frame personal items at his office.

Lawmakers had three impeachment articles left to consider. Justice Beth Walker is the only current justice who had not been impeached. Like the others, she faces allegations about spending on office renovations.

UPDATE 8/13/18 @ 7:20 p.m.
The West Virginia House of Delegates has adopted four more articles of impeachment against Justice Allen Loughry.

Article Seven deals with his authorizing the Supreme Court of Appeals to "overpay certain Senior Status Judges in violation of the statutorily limited maximum salary for such Judges."

Article Eight deals with Loughry using a state vehicle and fuel card for personal travel, beginning in or about December 2012. This includes taking the vehicle to the Greenbrier resort where he hosted a signing for his book "Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide." The book chronicles the history of political corruption in the state of West Virginia.

Article Nine says that Justice Loughry used a g state government computer equipment for personal use. Investigators found that Loughry had a state-owned computer in a common area of his home that contianed maily games and family photos.

Article 10 against Loughry states that he lied under oath before the West Virginia House of Delegates Finance Committee. The article goes on to say "with deliberate intent to deceive, regarding renovations and purchases for his office, asserting that he had no knowledge and involvement in these renovations, where evidence presented clearly demonstrated his in-depth knowledge and participation in those renovations, and, his intentional efforts to deceive members of the Legislature about his participation and knowledge of these acts, while under oath."

Other articles are under consideration. Justice Beth Walker is the only current justice who has not been impeached. A fifth justice, Menis Ketchum, retired last month.

UPDATE 8/13/18 @ 6:48 p.m.
Lawmakers have impeached a third West Virginia Supreme Court justice in a scandal over spending and office renovations.

The West Virginia House of Delegates approved an impeachment article Monday against Chief Justice Margaret Workman.

The article says Workman and Justice Robin Davis signed documents in their roles as chief justices allowing for senior status judges to be paid higher than allowed wages. Lawmakers say the over-payments violated state law and stopped when they were challenged by the Internal Revenue Service.

Separate impeachment articles were approved earlier against Davis and suspended Justice Allen Loughry for lavish spending on their office renovations. Loughry also was impeached by lawmakers for moving an expensive, antique desk owned by the state to his home.

Other articles are under consideration. Justice Beth Walker is the only current justice who has not been impeached. A fifth justice, Menis Ketchum, retired last month.

UPDATE 8/13/18 @ 3:52 p.m.
With a unanimous vote, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed another article that impeaches suspended Justice Allen Loughry.

Lawmakers voted 97-0 with three not voting. Article three pertains to a Cass Gilbert desk valued at $42,500 that Loughry allegedly moved from his office at the State Capitol to his home.

Earlier in the day Monday, the House adopted article one to impeach suspended Justice Allen Loughry over $363,000 in office renovations.

Delegates also adopted article two which would impeach Justice Robin Davis over expensive office renovations.

Below is the cost of each justice's office renovation from most expensive to least expensive:

  • Justice Robin Jean Davis: $500,000
  • Justice Allen H. Loughry II: $363,000
  • Former Justice Brent Benjamin: $264,000
  • Justice Menis E. Ketchum II: $171,000
  • Justice Elizabeth D. Walker: $130,000
  • Chief Justice Margaret C. Workman: $111,000

After the House is done voting, the legislation will move to the state Senate for review.

UPDATE 8/13/18 @ 3:39 p.m.
The West Virginia House of Delegates has voted to impeach a second justice on the state's Supreme Court of Appeals.

With a vote of 56-41, the House voted to adopt article two of House Resolution 202 which would impeach Justice Robin Davis.

The article states that Davis wasted state funds "with little or no concern for the costs to be borne by the tax payer for unnecessary and lavish spending in the renovation and remodeling of her personal office, to the sum of approximately $500,000, which sum included, but is not limited to, the purchase of an oval rug that cost approximately $20,500, a desk chair that cost approximately $8,000 and over $23,000 in design services, and other such wasteful expenditure not necessary for the administration of justice and the execution of the duties of the Court."

Earlier in the day Monday, the House voted to impeach suspended Justice Allen Loughry over $363,000 in spending on his office renovations.

After the House is done voting, the legislation will move to the state Senate for review.

Lawmakers have not yet ruled on the fate of Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justice Elizabeth Walker.

UPDATE 8/13/18 @ 1:45 p.m.
West Virginia's House of Delegates has voted to impeach suspended Justice Allen Loughry over $363,000 in spending on his office renovations.

The 64-33 vote Monday sends the charge to the state Senate for a trial.

Loughry is under federal indictment and named in eight impeachment articles, including allegations he lied about taking home a $42,000 antique desk and a $32,000 suede leather couch. Other articles involve upgrades of the offices of Chief Justice Margaret Workman and justices Robin Davis and Beth Walker.

Some legislators said they didn't support impeaching any justice for wasteful spending, only for articles pertaining to lying, cheating or stealing. But Republican Delegate John Shott of Mercer County asked whether there is public confidence in the court, and if not, "we need to take action to try to rebuild that trust."

Several lawmakers noted that the Supreme Court has a separate budget and is currently allowed to spend as it sees fit. A proposed constitutional amendment this fall would bring the state courts' budget partly under legislative control.

UPDATE 8/13/18 @ 11:43 a.m.
A proposed bill to impeach West Virginia's remaining Supreme Court justices is now under review by the full House of Delegates.

The House Judiciary Committee, tasked with leading this investigation, adopted articles of impeachment Aug. 7 after several weeks of witness testimony and going through evidence.

Now, House Resolution 202 is on the House floor Monday. Each article within the legislation will be debated, amended and approved separately.

The proposal as a whole recommends that "Chief Justice Margaret Workman, Justice Allen Loughry, Justice Robin Davis, and Justice Elizabeth Walker, Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, be impeached for maladministration, corruption, incompetency, neglect of duty, and certain high crimes and misdemeanors."

This unprecedented investigation comes after Justice Loughry was indicted on 23 federal charges. (The original indictment included 22 charges, but a superseding indictment made it 23.) The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, making false statements to a federal agent and obstruction of justice.

The West Virginia Judicial Commission also filed 32 formal charges against Loughry in June. The scope of these proceedings, though, covers all the Supreme Court justices.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

Justice Menis E. Ketchum announced on July 11 that he is retiring and resigning from the high court effective July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

Many of the allegations center around expensive renovations made to the Supreme Court offices and other accusations of financial wrongdoing.

UPDATE 8/7/18 @ 6:12 p.m.
A proposal to impeach all justices on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia was introduced in a House committee Tuesday. Now, delegates are discussing, possibly amending, and voting on each individual article of impeachment.

The original proposal draft included 14 articles of impeachment. However, during the discussion Tuesday, the committee voted to add another article against Justice Allen Loughry II for allegedly lying under oath, taking the count to 15.

Delegates voted to approve all but two articles (articles 9 and 13 - more info below.)

The proposal as a whole recommends that "Chief Justice Margaret Workman, Justice Allen Loughry, Justice Robin Davis, and Justice Elizabeth Walker, Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, be impeached for maladministration, corruption, incompetency, neglect of duty, and certain high crimes and misdemeanors."

This unprecedented investigation comes after Justice Loughry was indicted on 23 federal charges. (The original indictment included 22 charges, but a superseding indictment made it 23.) The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, making false statements to a federal agent and obstruction of justice.

The West Virginia Judicial Commission also filed 32 formal charges against Loughry in June. The scope of these proceedings, though, covers all the Supreme Court justices.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

Justice Menis E. Ketchum announced on July 11 that he is retiring and resigning from the high court effective July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

Many of the allegations center around expensive renovations made to the Supreme Court offices and other accusations of financial wrongdoing.

Article one:
This article alleges Chief Justice Workman and Justice Davis overpaid "certain Senior Status Judges."
Yes - 17
No - 7
Article adopted

Article two:
This article alleges Chief Justice Workman, Justice Loughry, Justice Davis, and Justice Walker wasted "state funds with little or no concern for the costs to be borne by the tax payers for unnecessary and lavish spending for various purposes including, but without limitation, to certain examples, such as: to remodel state offices, for large increases in travel budgets—including unaccountable personal use of state vehicles, for unneeded computers for home use, for regular lunches from restaurants, and for framing of personal items and other such wasteful expenditure not necessary for the administration of justice and the execution of the duties of the Court."
Article adopted - no vote count given

Article three:
This article alleges Justice Loughry moved a $42,500 Cass Gilbert desk from the Capitol to his home "and did maintain possession of such desk in his home, where it remained throughout his term as Justice for approximately four and one-half."
Article adopted - no vote count given

Article four:
This article alleges Justice Loughry "intentionally acquired and used state government computer equipment and hardware for predominately personal use — including a computer not intended to be connected to the court’s network, utilized state resources to install computer access services at his home for predominately personal use, and utilized state resources to provide maintenance and repair of computer services for his residence resulting from predominately personal use."
Article adopted - no vote count given

Article five:
This article alleges Justice Loughry did "intentionally acquire and use state government vehicles for personal use; including using a state vehicle and gasoline purchased utilizing a state issued fuel purchase card to travel to the Greenbrier on one or more occasions for book signings and sales, which such acts enriched his family and which acts constitute the use of state resources and property for personal gain."
Article adopted - no vote count given

Article six:
This article alleges Justice Loughry overpaid "certain Senior Status Judges."
Yes - 18
No - 6
Article adopted

Article seven:
This article alleges that Justice Loughry wasted "state funds with little or no concern for the costs to be borne by the tax payer for unnecessary and lavish spending in the renovation and remodeling of his personal office, to the sum of approximately $363,000, which sum included the purchase of a $31,924 couch, a $33,750 floor, and other such wasteful expenditure not necessary for the administration of justice and the execution of the duties of the Court."
Yes - 21
No - 3
Article adopted

Article eight:
This article alleges that Justice Walker wasted "state funds with little or no concern for the costs to be borne by the tax payer for unnecessary and lavish spending in the renovation and remodeling of her personal office, which had been largely remodeled less than seven years prior, to the sum of approximately $131,000, which sum included, but is not limited to, the purchase of approximately $27,000 in items listed as office furnishings and wallpaper, and other such wasteful expenditure not necessary for the administration of justice and the execution of the duties of the Court."
Yes - 16
No - 8
Article adopted

Article nine:
This article alleges that Justice Walker wasted "state funds with little or no concern for the costs to be borne by the tax payer for unnecessary and lavish spending in that she hired outside counsel to craft a legal opinion of the Court, in the case styled Quicken Loans, Inc. v. Walters, 801 S.E.2d 509, 239 W. Va. 494 (2017), and for which competent assistance in the form of personal clerks was provided to facilitate the execution of the same."
Yes - 9
No - 14
Article rejected

Article ten:
This article alleges Justice Davis waster "state funds with little or no concern for the costs to be borne by the tax payer for unnecessary and lavish spending in the renovation and remodeling of her personal office, to the sum of approximately $500,000, which sum included, but is not limited to, the purchase of an oval rug that cost approximately $20,500, a desk chair that cost approximately $8,000 and over $23,000 in design services, and other such wasteful expenditure not necessary for the administration of justice and the execution of the duties of the Court."
Yes - 19
No - 4
Article adopted

Article eleven:
This article alleges Justice Davis signed certain forms "to overpay those certain Senior Status Judges."
Article adopted - no vote count given

Article twelve:
This article alleges that Chief Justice Workman wasted "state funds with little or no concern for the costs to be borne by the tax payer for unnecessary and lavish spending in the renovation and remodeling of her personal office, to the sum of approximately $111,000, which sum included, but is not limited to, the purchase of wide plank cherry flooring, and other such wasteful expenditure not necessary for the administration of justice and the execution of the duties of the Court."
Yes - 13
No - 10
Article adopted

Article thirteen:
This article alleges that Chief Justice Workman wasted "state funds with little or no concern for the costs to be borne by the tax payer by requiring and encouraging the unnecessary hiring and retention of employees, and contracting of services, some instances of which constituted the apparent repayment of political favors to former campaign workers; which acts caused wasteful expenditure not necessary for the administration of justice and the execution of the duties of the Court."
Yes - 10
No - 13
Article rejected

Article fourteen:
This article alleges Justice Workman signed certain forms "to overpay those certain Senior Status Judges."
Article adopted - no vote count given

Article fifteen:
This article alleges Justice Loughry lied under oath. It was added to the articles Tuesday.
Yes - 12
No - 11
Article adopted



UPDATE 8/7/18 @ 11:10 a.m.
The committee members investigating the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia do not appear to be on the same page Tuesday morning.

After a proposal to impeach all justices on the bench, some delegates said they felt blindsided. The committee previously said it had enough evidence to impeach Justice Allen Loughry II, but this is the first proposal to take action against all of the judges.

There was a somewhat heated exchange between West Virginia House Delegate Shawn Fluharty (D-Ohio, 3) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Shott. Fluharty questioned why some lawmakers, including the committee's minority chair, were not aware of the proposal to impeach all of the justices ahead of time.

"I believe in your response to our press release last week you said you were blindsided by a press release," said Fluharty.

"True," Shott responded.

"Do you not believe that presenting articles of impeachment without telling minority members that you were going to do so is not blindsiding them?"

"There's nothing in those articles of impeachment that you haven't heard in this chamber."

"We are proposing something monumental," said Judiciary Committee Minority Chair Barbara Evans Fleischauer (D-Monongalia, 51). The delegate said she was aware the committee was ready to move forward with impeachment against Justice Loughry, but not the others.

Chairman Shott said there will be an amendment period after delegates are done asking questions about the proposed articles.


This unprecedented investigation comes after Justice Allen Loughry II was indicted on 23 federal charges. (The original indictment included 22 charges, but a superseding indictment made it 23.) The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, making false statements to a federal agent and obstruction of justice.

The West Virginia Judicial Commission also filed 32 formal charges against Loughry in June. The scope of these proceedings, though, covers all the Supreme Court justices.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

Justice Menis E. Ketchum announced on July 11 that he is retiring and resigning from the high court effective July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

Many of the allegations center around expensive renovations made to the Supreme Court offices. Therefore, the committee took a tour Monday, allowing delegates to walk through the offices and see what they're investigating firsthand.

Below is the cost of each justice's office renovation from most expensive to least expensive:

  • Justice Robin Jean Davis: $500,000
  • Justice Allen H. Loughry II: $363,000
  • Former Justice Brent Benjamin: $264,000
  • Justice Menis E. Ketchum II: $171,000
  • Justice Elizabeth D. Walker: $130,000
  • Chief Justice Margaret C. Workman: $111,000

You can read more in the updates below.

UPDATE 8/7/18 @ 10:10 a.m.
The committee investigating the West Virginia Supreme Court is discussing proposed articles to impeach all of the state justices.

Members of the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee resumed Tuesday with a motion that would be historic.

The motion was to adopt the 14 articles, but some delegates appeared to feel uncomfortable immediately moving forward which led to a debate about whether or not to introduce the articles to the full House.

This unprecedented investigation comes after Justice Allen Loughry II was indicted on 23 federal charges. (The original indictment included 22 charges, but a superseding indictment made it 23.) The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, making false statements to a federal agent and obstruction of justice.

The West Virginia Judicial Commission also filed 32 formal charges against Loughry in June.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

Justice Menis E. Ketchum announced on July 11 that he is retiring and resigning from the high court effective July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

"We are proposing something monumental," said Judiciary Committee Minority Chair Barbara Evans Fleischauer (D-Monongalia, 51). The delegate said she was aware the committee was ready to move forward with impeachment against Justice Loughry, but not the others.

Another motion was made to divide the articles into individual articles so lawmakers could discuss them one by one.

As of 10 a.m., delegates were asking legal counsel questions about their authority and how this unprecedented process works.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 8/6/18 @ 11:20 a.m.
Members of the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee began their tour of the much-talked-about state Supreme Court offices Monday morning.

The tour happened in two groups because of the size of the committee and staff.

Afterwards, the judiciary committee went back to chambers to resume listening to witness testimony in its impeachment proceedings of one or more members of the Court.

Legal Analyst Harvey Peyton for our media partner MetroNews said the tour is important because it will let the committee members see if the proof meets the allegations.

“If the evidence matches the reality,” Peyton said.

The state photographer released photos Monday morning of lawmakers and members of the press pool getting ready for the tour. You can see those photos in the slideshow at the bottom of this article.

Lawmakers have heard testimony for several weeks at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston. The process started after former Chief Justice Allen Loughry was federally indicted. He’s now facing 23 criminal charges.

The scope of these proceedings, though, covers all the Supreme Court justices.

Many of the allegations center around expensive renovations made to the Supreme Court offices. Therefore, the committee arranged a tour to allow delegates to walk through the offices and see what they're investigating firsthand.

Below is the cost of each justice's office renovation from most expensive to least expensive:

  • Justice Robin Jean Davis: $500,000
  • Justice Allen H. Loughry II: $363,000
  • Former Justice Brent Benjamin: $264,000
  • Justice Menis E. Ketchum II: $171,000
  • Justice Elizabeth D. Walker: $130,000
  • Chief Justice Margaret C. Workman: $111,000

The West Virginia Legislature photographer published photos of the tour:

You can view more photos here.

At first, the Supreme Court said it would not allow members of the media to attend the office tour and lawmakers would not be allowed to take their own pictures and videos. Several delegates argued against that, and ultimately, a press pool was allowed inside.

To make it fair, the pool will share those video with all other media outlets and they may not be published until 2 p.m. Monday. Tune into WSAZ this evening to see that first look inside the justices' chambers.

UPDATE 7/27/18 @ 11:40 a.m.
Lawmakers on Friday wrapped up another week of impeachment proceedings involving one or more justices on the Supreme Court.

Lawmakers have been hearing testimony for the past two days at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston.

The House Judiciary heard new evidence Friday morning, as they investigate the state Supreme Court and decide if any Justices should be impeached.

Some of the exhibits presented on Friday dealt more with the renovations costs of the justices' offices, Loughry's work lunches and state vehicle usage.

In fact, for the first time lawmakers got the exact cost of what each justice spent on the office renovations.

Justin Robinson, the acting director of the legislative post audit division, presented lawmakers with the figures during his testimony Friday. According to the testimony, Justice Robin Jean Davis spent the most on renovations with her office makeover costing more than a half million dollars. Chief Justice Margaret C. Workman spent the least amount with $111,000 for her office renovations.

Below is the cost of each office renovation from most expensive to least expensive:

  • Justice Robin Jean Davis: $500,000
  • Justice Allen H. Loughry II: $363,000
  • Former Justice Brent Benjamin: $264,000
  • Justice Menis E. Ketchum II: $171,000
  • Justice Elizabeth D. Walker: $130,000
  • Chief Justice Margaret C. Workman: $111,000

Robinson testified Friday that there are missing papers from the Supreme Court's renovation documents. Robinson says the Supreme Court says the documents are missing because Justice Loughry initially requested they be withheld from the record. Auditors are working with the Supreme Court staff to find and investigate the missing documents.

A spokesperson for the West Virginia House says Justice Brent Benjamin's $264,000 renovations were mostly structural, for example, new wiring. When Justice Beth Walker was elected in 2016, the office was re-renovated, costing taxpayers an additional 130,000 dollars.

The legislative auditor also presented evidence that taxpayer money remodeled bathrooms for the Supreme Court that totaled the following:

  • $77,000 women’s bathroom
  • $38,000 on men’s bathroom
  • $98,000 on a bathroom behind the Supreme Court’s bench.

Testimony ended Friday with evidence talking about some of the trips where Loughry allegedly took a state vehicle for personal reasons, including to a family member’s court appearance in Tucker County and book signings at the Greenbrier.

The hearings are happening at the same time as a federal investigation of Justice Allen Loughry. He's facing 23 charges, including obstruction of justice.

Lawmakers are still gathering more information and have even subpoenaed Justice Loughry’s wife to testify. Their next meeting hasn’t been scheduled yet, but we’ll update you when they return to the capitol.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 7/26/18 @ 7:40 p.m.
Former West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Administrator Steve Canterbury took the stand Thursday in the ongoing impeachment hearings involving one or more justices on the Court.

It is part of the House Judiciary Committee's ongoing investigation into possible impeachable offenses.

The process started weeks ago after former Chief Justice Allen Loughry was federally indicted. He’s now facing 23 criminal charges.

The scope of these proceedings, though, covers all the Supreme Court justices.

Canterbury's all-day testimony is the longest from any witness during the five days of testimony. He is the initial whistleblower who alerted the public and the press that there were questionable purchases happening at the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Delegate John Shott, a Republican from Mercer County, asked Canterbury who a Supreme Court Justice is accountable to during their 12-year term. Canterbury replied "no one other than themselves."

The questioning brought into focus the issues of accountability, oversight and checks and balances.

Testimony wrapped up around 7:30 p.m. and is expected to resume at 9 a.m. Friday.

WSAZ's Jatara McGee has been at the Capitol covering the hearing. Her tweets and retweets are included with this story. Just scroll to the bottom to see them.



UPDATE 7/23/18 @ 5:49 p.m.
The committee investigating the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will get a closer look at the officer under review, and to several lawmakers' delight, the press will accompany them.

The House Judiciary Committee is investigating possible impeachable offenses against one or more Supreme Court justices. Many of the allegations center around expensive renovations made to the Supreme Court offices. Therefore, the committee arranged a tour to allow delegates to walk through the offices and see what they're investigating firsthand.

That plan had a hiccup Friday when delegates expressed frustration that the media would not be allowed to join them and the lawmakers themselves could not take pictures or videos while touring the chambers.

Ultimately, the committee approved a motion to delay the tour and request a new one accompanied by three members of the press: one broadcast journalist, one print journalist and one radio journalist. If allowed, the journalists who attend the tour will share content with the other media outlets. The hope was to reschedule that tour for Friday, July 27.

In a letter sent Monday to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Shott, the court said it will now allow media on the tour, but with two limitations. For security reasons, the court asked that nobody takes pictures or videos of interior hallways, doorways, or windows. Also, the court states in the letter that July 27 will not work. They gave the committee several other date options.

The Supreme Court asked that the tour still be split into two groups to limit crowding and court staff needed.

The letter is attached to this article under "related documents."

UPDATE 7/20/18 @ 4:15 p.m.
The committee investigating the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia wants a closer look than ever at the office under review.

Delegates planned to tour the Supreme Court offices Friday morning, but there was a change of plans when delegates found out they could not take photos and videos or bring members of the press along.

After agreeing to allow the delegates to tour the court offices, the Supreme Court issued a news release Friday stating that the court, "will not allow photography or video during the tour, and that if afterward they believe pictures or videos are necessary, Chairman John Shott and the Committee’s photographer will contact Interim Court Administrator Barbara Allen." This decision would prohibit the media from attending the tour. It also prohibits the delegates from taking their own pictures and videos.

The release states the tour is an on-site inspection and not a "meeting" as defined by state code.

Several delegates argued that this violates the freedom of the press as defined by the first amendment of the Constitution. The committee members then debated whether or not it violates the Open Governmental Meetings Act to now allow the press and delegates to take their own photos and videos on the tour.

"Those offices do not belong to the justices," Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha, 37) said. "They belong to the people of West Virginia."

Senate President Mitch Carmichael, a Jackson County Republican, issued the following statement later Friday afternoon:

"I am outraged at the disrespect shown to West Virginia's taxpayers by the Supreme Court of Appeals through the Court's efforts to deny the media an opportunity to tour and report to our citizens the renovations made to the Courts' offices. A free press protects and preserves democracy. It is the window through which people can view their government. This capitol is the people's house; it is not the personal property of the Supreme Court. I am appalled at the Court's decision to impede or prevent the members of the press, and members of the House Judiciary Committee, from freely viewing and reporting upon the all of the facilities of the West Virginia Supreme Court. I call upon the Supreme Court to remove the veil of secrecy from these offices and enable the press corps to do their jobs by holding those in power accountable."

Ultimately, the committee approved a motion to delay the Friday tour and request a tour of the facility next week accompanied by three members of the press: one broadcast journalist, one print journalist and one radio journalist. If allowed, the journalists who attend the tour will share content with the other media outlets. The hope is to reschedule that tour for next Friday, July 27.

Before that debate ensued, the House Judiciary Committee began Friday's hearing with more witness testimony and evidence.

That committee was tasked with investigating to determine if lawmakers should move forward with impeachment proceedings against one or more state Supreme Court justices.

We made an illustrative graphic to quickly get you up to speed on the investigation.

First, delegates heard an affidavit from Kimberly Ellis, Director of Administrative Services for the Supreme Court. She testified that Loughry threatened her and caused her to fear for her job. Ellis also felt coerced and intimidated.

The affidavit talks about Justice Allen Loughry II being heavily involved in the extravagant renovations of his office, including hand-sketching designs.

This historic investigation comes after Justice Allen Loughry II was indicted on 23 federal charges. (The original indictment included 22 charges, but a superseding indictment made it 23.) The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, making false statements to a federal agent and obstruction of justice. The West Virginia Judicial Commission also filed 32 formal charges against Loughry in June.

Loughry is accused of making $363,000 worth of renovations to his Supreme Court office at the State Capitol.

Other alleged expensive renovations to his office include a $32,000 couch, $1,700 throw pillows and $7,500 for a custom-made wooden medallion of the State of West Virginia built into the floor with each county cut from a different colored piece of wood and his home county of Tucker is in blue granite.

The charges also accuse Loughry of moving a used, court-owned Cass Gilbert executive desk from his law clerk office to his home in Charleston. We learned in earlier witness testimony that the desk is valued at $42,500 in current condition.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

Justice Menis E. Ketchum announced on July 11 that he is retiring and resigning from the high court effective July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

Delegates on the House Judiciary Committee are meeting for a series of hearings to go over evidence and interview witnesses. Friday's hearing is the fourth so far.

After hearing the affidavit from the administrative employee, the committee listened to an audio recording of Justice Loughry speaking at a finance meeting earlier this year.

Loughry identifies himself in the recording then leads a discussion on the past judicial budgets and the future fiscal budget.

"We in the judiciary are painfully aware of the state's financial worries in recent years," Loughry said. "The judicial branch of government takes this issue very seriously."

The Supreme Court's budget for FY 2019 is $139,759,670. Loughry said that is 1.1 percent of the state's budget and it is a $2 million reduction from what the state Supreme Court requested the year before.

He addresses the negative press about extravagant renovations to the court offices, calling them, "isolated, but obviously, inappropriate, expenses."

"Each of us will have to explain ourselves to the voters of West Virginia," Loughry said.

Loughry said one action by a court employee can explode because of social media and cloud the focus of the judiciary system.

"I am reminded every single day there is more work to be done to promote financial accountability and responsibility in our government," Loughry said.

In the audio recording, then Chief Justice Loughry gave an account of past renovations at the Capitol.

He said in 2008, the court began renovating offices on the 4th floor of the Capitol. The original contract was for $876,156 and it covered half of the 4th floor. Loughry said renovations were necessary for safety the ability to work.

Loughry said it was widely reported that the court started with a $876,156 contract and it ballooned out of control to a $3 million-plus contract. He said that is incorrect and that the original contract was for a specific amount of work. The scope of the work changed, he said, and other renovations were "needed and necessary."

"We have a responsibility to take care of this incredible building," Loughry said, explaining that many of the renovations were for extensive electrical, heating, cooling, plumbing and other maintenance work.

He also spoke about the attempts to reduce spending once he became chief justice in January of 2017.

"I was well aware of the fiscal challenges facing West Virginia," Loughry explained, saying he made transparency his primary mission when he was elected.

The judiciary's budget does not only cover the Supreme Court, but 279 judicial officers at the local level as well. In addition to those officers, Loughry said there are many other people, functions, and responsibilities that fall under the budget. Some of those departments include probation, court reporters, law clerks, administrative staff, IT, HR, accounting, payroll, etc.

Ninety percent of the spending is non discretionary, he explained, and it's the legislature, not the court, that sets the salaries for the justices and hundreds of other employees.

Loughry said the court, independent of the pressure from the press, was saving money year to year.

"I made it clear that everything must be on the table and nothing was untouchable," he said about reducing spending.

The justice called 2017 a year of "significant financial improvement," reducing spending by millions of dollars and cutting non-essential positions.

In certain areas, Loughry said significant cuts just can't be made. Some expenditures are required by statute. He made the example that if you cut probation officers, that allows for more non-violent offenders to be incarcerated which costs the taxpayers.

After listening to Loughry's testimony, the committee was scheduled to tour the Supreme Court offices, but as mentioned above the tour was delayed due to concerns of the press ban.

The committee adjourned for the day. Lawmakers will meet again Thursday, July 26.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 7/19/18 @ 6:33 p.m.
An historic investigation is playing out at the West Virginia State Capitol. The House Judiciary Committee was back in House chambers Thursday interviewing witnesses for the investigation into the state Supreme Court of Appeals.

This was the third of many hearings to determine if lawmakers should move forward with impeachment proceedings against one or more state Supreme Court justices. The fourth hearing will begin Friday morning.

We made an illustrative graphic to quickly get you up to speed on the investigation.

This historic investigation comes after Justice Allen Loughry II was indicted on 23 federal charges. (The original indictment included 22 charges, but a superseding indictment made it 23.) The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, making false statements to a federal agent and obstruction of justice.

The West Virginia Judicial Commission also filed 32 formal charges against Loughry in June.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

Justice Menis E. Ketchum announced on July 11 that he is retiring and resigning from the high court effective July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

The witnesses who testified Thursday are Deputy Director of Security for the West Virginia Supreme Court Jess Gundy (you can read about his testimony in detail in the previous update to this article), Supreme Court Public Information Officer Jennifer Bundy, Supreme Court Security Messenger Paul Mendez, and Director of Security for the West Virginia Supreme Court Arthur Angus.

Gundy, Mendez and Angus all testified that they helped Loughry move furniture from his home to a court warehouse.

The charges against Loughry accuse him of moving a used, court-owned Cass Gilbert executive desk from his law clerk office to his home in Charleston. We learned in earlier witness testimony that the desk is valued at $42,500 in current condition.

Justice Loughry is also accused of making $363,000 worth of renovations to his Supreme Court office at the State Capitol.

Other alleged expensive renovations to his office include a $32,000 couch, $1,700 throw pillows and $7,500 for a custom-made wooden medallion of the State of West Virginia built into the floor with each county cut from a different colored piece of wood and his home county of Tucker is in blue granite.

Thursday's hearing began with witness testimony from Gundy. He has worked for the court since 2007. Previously, Gundy worked for West Virginia State Police for 22 years.

Gundy testified that he helped Loughry move a couch from the justice's home to a court warehouse.

Loughry was chief justice at the time that Gundy says he helped move furniture. In a closed-door meeting with a few people, he said Loughry asked for his help to move a couch out of his home. He said Loughry emphasized that he wasn't doing anything improper because justices are allowed to have a home office.

"If I thought it was illegal, I would not have done it," Gundy said.

The deputy security director said Court Security Messenger Paul Mendez got a van and the two of them followed Loughry to his home. He said Loughry showed them a couch and a desk, but said they could move the desk at a later time.

Gundy described driving to the warehouse, unloading the couch, and discussing when they would move the desk with Arthur Angus, director of Supreme Court Security, and Justice Loughry. The desk was located in a smaller room in Loughry's home, Gundy testified.

"He wanted to move the desk because he said he wanted it out of his house," Gundy said.

A couple days later, they moved the desk.

First, they navigated different doorways in the home and moved the desk to the garage.

"He [Notes:Loughry] was waiting for the neighbor taking the photos to leave," Gundy said.

Gundy said they returned to the Capitol. Later, they went back to Loughry's home to move the desk from the garage to the van. From there, they moved the desk to a room inside the court warehouse.

"He did not want me to tell a lot of people about moving these items," Gundy said. "I think he was relieved that it was all out of his house."

He said they returned to the Capitol. Later, they went back to Loughry's home to move the desk from the garage to the van. From there, they moved the desk to a room inside the court warehouse.

"He did not want me to tell a lot of people about moving these items," Gundy said. "I think he was relieved that it was all out of his house."

Gundy testified that he was not aware of any policy for what furniture or office items justice's can have at home.

After discussing the furniture, they moved on to the use of state-owned vehicles. Gundy's job description also includes driving the justices when requested.

However, Gundy said he did not recall ever driving a justice to an event that was not business related.

He remembered Loughry using state-owned vehicles, not telling the others where he was going, and returning the car with the gas tank nearly empty. Loughry stated several times that the justices didn't need to know where he was going, Gundy testified.

According to Gundy, former Administrative Director of Courts Steve Canterbury also stated the justices did not have to give information about where they were going or a reason for using the vehicles. Gundy said Canterbury did this under the direction of someone else, but he could not recall if Canterbury said who directed him to do that.

A memo from Justice Davis was a piece of evidence. Davis sent the memo on Aug. 25, 2015, to Gundy and Angus, stating there were no formal policies at the time in place for the justices' use of state-owned vehicles.

"There was no written policy that I am aware of," Gundy said.

They did not keep record of the mileage on state-owned vehicles in between trips, he said. Any mileage records would be on inspection stickers, oil change paperwork and maintenance work documents.

In a previous hearing, the delegates questioned witnesses about Justice Davis traveling with a director of court security for personal safety reasons following threats.

Gundy pointed out that it was not necessary for a threat to be made in order for them to request security.

In regards to how the justices interacted in general, Gundy said, "There was some internal strife." After Loughry was elected to chief justice, he said, "There were a lot of folks who were uncomfortable and they feared for their employment." He said there were some people who were fired. Gundy knows this because security officers have to escort those people out.

One firing in particular Gundy spoke about was of Steve Canterbury.

After more than 11 years on the job, Canterbury was ousted from the Supreme Court in January of 2017 by the court's vote of 3-2. Shortly after, Canterbury told our media partner WV MetroNews that his firing was political, "pure and simple."

Canterbury admitted to MetroNews that his relationship with Loughry started to disintegrate some time before his firing, but he chose not to elaborate on what may have caused the problems.

Loughry later blamed Canterbury for all of the expensive renovations at the Supreme Court.

"Mr. Canterbury is a disgruntled, fired employee," Loughry said in a media interview. "He threatened us as he walked out the door and he's trying to set this up for some lawsuit down the road."

Gundy described walking Canterbury out on the day he was terminated. He said Canterbury made comments about deciding whether or not to go to the press "and tell them everything." Gundy did not remember Canterbury specifying what he meant by that.

Over the decade he has worked for the Supreme Court, Gundy said he has witnessed renovations to an outdated conference room, the chamber's ceiling, and justices' offices.

Committee Chairman John Shott (R-Mercer, 27) asked if Gundy ever heard talks of efforts to spend less. Gundy said no.

Jess Gundy finished testifying around noon.

Around 1 p.m., Supreme Court Public Information Officer Jennifer Bundy took the stand.

As the spokesperson for the court, Bundy explained the process of responding to media inquiries and relaying the justices' messages to the public.

She said she could not recall a time that the justices asked her to respond to the media with an untruthful statement.

Bundy would pass along journalists' questions to the justices and they would tell her what to write back. Eventually, she stopped seeing the responses from the justices and they directly responded to media inquiries themselves.

"I was concerned because they were not consulting me on media issues and that's my job," Bundy said.

For example, she said she did not know the Justices Loughry and Davis were doing television interviews until she saw them air. Like others who testified, Bundy mentioned that she at times feared for the safety of her job.

She spoke about not wanting to be involved in the tense and unfriendly relationship between Justice Loughry and Steve Canterbury. That continued after Loughry became chief justice in January of 2017 and Canterbury was ousted.

"Steve is my friend," Bundy said. "I consider him a personal friend."

Still, she found herself in the middle.

"He [Canterbury] would gripe about him," Bundy said. "He didn't like Justice Loughry. Justice Loughry didn't like him." Canterbury is scheduled to testify next week.

There were renovations to all five justices' offices while Bundy worked there. She recalled the offices being "gutted" down to the concrete, Bundy said. She testified most of the renovations were for electrical work, HVAC, etc.

When she saw the photo of the $32,000 couch on Twitter, Bundy said she was taken by surprise.

Bundy testified she has never been to Loughry's home, doesn't even know where he lives, and doesn't know anything about the moving of furniture. She said she only knows the couch was in Loughry's office when he became a justice, and after the renovations to his office, it was gone.

"I was stunned they had done that," Bundy said. She went to Justice Davis. "I asked her, 'Did you know about this? Why did he do this?'" Bundy said Davis didn't seem to think the couch was important.

When she confronted Justice Loughry about the couch, she said Loughry was adamant that the couch was not state property.

She also said Loughry was "very convincing" about there being a home office policy, despite the fact that several witnesses in these hearings have testified that there isn't one.

"He was pretty adamant that there was such a policy," Bundy said. "He told me several times there was such a policy."

Loughry pulled a notebook from one of his filing cabinets, she said. It allegedly had notes from a conversation with Canterbury about the justices being allowed to have home offices.

"He was the chief justice," Bundy testified. "He's a lawyer. He's got four law degrees. I didn't have any reason to doubt that that was the case."

The next witness was Supreme Court Security Messenger Paul Mendez.

In regards to moving court-owned furniture, Mendez said there usually wasn't a paper trail. When he was asked to move furniture, it was just by word of mouth.

He said he was one of the court employees who helped move the couch from Loughry's home to a warehouse, and then a few days later, the desk from Loughry's home to the warehouse.

Mendez recalled Loughry explaining that he was allowed to have both the couch and desk in his home, but he just wanted them removed because of the media attention he was getting. Mendez also testified that Loughry said Canterbury told him he could take the furniture from the Supreme Court office.

One of Mendez's other job duties includes picking up lunch for court staff members. He said those lunches became costly once Canterbury was hired.

Mendez wrapped up his testimony around 3 p.m.

The last witness to testify Thursday was West Virginia Supreme Court Director of Security Arthur Angus.

He too testified to helping move the furniture. Angus said he drove a white van to Loughry's home and parked in the driveway.

"I didn't know he had the couch or desk at his house until the day we went," Angus said.

After moving the couch, and being photographed doing so by a neighbor, Angus said he told Loughry it was not a good idea to move the desk. He said Loughry insisted.

A couple days later, a Thursday around 8 a.m. according to Angus, they met again and moved the desk from Loughry's home to his garage.

Angus said he is familiar with Cass Gilbert desks because he has one in his office. There are five Cass Gilbert desks that belong to the Supreme Court, including the one that was at Loughry's home which Angus said is now back in court chambers in another employee's office.

He testified that the group waited until the neighbor was not taking pictures of them to move the desk into the van and then transport it to the warehouse.

Around the time he was asked to help move the desk, Angus said he was worried about losing his job by denying requests. He said that was the vibe working for the Supreme Court: fear of unemployment for disagreeing.

Angus, like other witnesses, said he is not aware of a home office policy. He also said the only person he could imagine would have the power to allow justices to take state property home was Canterbury. He is not aware of someone else who would have granted approval to remove the furniture, but assumes someone must have.

"If somebody removed it without approval and took it to their house, it could possibly be considered larceny of some kind," Angus said. "Somebody knew it was moved up there," he said, referencing that there were invoices for the moving of furniture.

In addition to protecting the court staff and ensuring the safety of the justices as they travel, Angus is charge of the fleet of the 19 state-owned vehicles.

The only justice who would not provide details about where he was going in a state-owned vehicle was Loughry, Angus testified.

He said the only exception would be, "If we were all going to a conference, I knew where he was going."

Angus said, at one point, Canterbury told employees not to ask the justices where they were taking the vehicles.

Confirming testimony that Gundy gave earlier, Angus said the two of them to a memo from Justice Davis asking about the court's vehicle policies. After that, Angus said Loughry stopped talking to them.

For months, Angus said Loughry ignored himself and Gundy. That continued from the fall of 2016 til January of 2017 when Canterbury was fired.

During that time, Angus said he became curious about Loughry's trips using state-owned vehicles. That's when he started checking the mileage on vehicles Loughry used and writing it down in a personal diary.

"I was wanting to see how far he was driving it," Angus said. "He'd drive 400 or 500 miles sometimes." Those trips would be over two, three, or four days sometimes, Angus testified.

After the media attention, Angus said Loughry gave him the keys to the state-owned vehicles and said he didn't want to drive them anymore.

The Supreme Court has since joined the state fleet, Angus testified, to keep better track of the use of the state-owned vehicles. Previously, mileage was not tracked. State officials now require the driver using the vehicle to document the mileage.

Like Mendez, Angus also testified to Supreme Court employees eating expensive lunches purchased for the staff. He said he ate them as well, but felt bad about it.

"I never did feel like it was quite right." Angus said. "It's been going on probably since at least 2013, maybe before that."

He said he stopped getting the lunches after about a year. He said Justice Davis quit receiving the lunches as well.

Just after 5 p.m., the delegates finished questioning Angus and the committee adjourned for the day. The hearings will resume at 9:15 Friday morning.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 7/19/18 @ 12:32 p.m.
The unprecedented investigation into the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is resuming Thursday. This is the third of many hearings to determine if lawmakers should move forward with impeachment proceedings against one or more state Supreme Court justices.

You can watch the meeting live here.

The House Judiciary Committee was tasked with interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence. We made an illustrative graphic to quickly get you up to speed on the investigation.

Thursday's hearing began with witness testimony from Jess Gundy, Deputy Director of Security for the state Supreme Court. He has worked for the court since 2007. Previously, Gundy worked for West Virginia State Police for 22 years.

Gundy testified that he helped Loughry move a couch from the justice's home to a court warehouse.

Justice Allen Loughry II is accused of making $363,000 worth of renovations to his Supreme Court office at the State Capitol.

Other alleged expensive renovations to his office include a $32,000 couch, $1,700 throw pillows and $7,500 for a custom-made wooden medallion of the State of West Virginia built into the floor with each county cut from a different colored piece of wood and his home county of Tucker is in blue granite.

The charges also accuse Loughry of moving a used, court-owned Cass Gilbert executive desk from his law clerk office to his home in Charleston. We learned in earlier witness testimony that the desk is valued at $42,500 in current condition.

The West Virginia Judicial Commission filed 32 formal charges against Loughry in June. A federal grand jury indicted Loughry on 23 federal charges. (The original indictment included 22 charges, but a superseding indictment made it 23.) The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, making false statements to a federal agent and obstruction of justice.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

Justice Menis E. Ketchum announced on July 11 that he is retiring and resigning from the high court effective July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

Loughry was chief justice at the time that Gundy says he helped move furniture. In a closed-door meeting with a few people, he said Loughry asked for his help to move a couch out of his home. He said Loughry emphasized that he wasn't doing anything improper because justices are allowed to have a home office.

"If I thought it was illegal, I would not have done it," Gundy said.

The deputy security director said Court Security Messenger Paul Mendez got a van and the two of them followed Loughry to his home. He said Loughry showed them a couch and a desk, but said they could move the desk at a later time.

Gundy described driving to the warehouse, unloading the couch, and discussing when they would move the desk with Arthur Angus, Director of Supreme Court Security, and Justice Loughry. The desk was located in a smaller room in Loughry's home, Gundy testified.

"He wanted to move the desk because he said he wanted it out of his house," Gundy said.

A couple days later, they moved the desk.

First, they navigated different doorways in the home and moved the desk to the garage.

"He [Loughry] was waiting for the neighbor taking the photos to leave," Gundy said.

Gundy said they returned to the Capitol. Later, they went back to Loughry's home to move the desk from the garage to the van. From there, they moved the desk to a room inside the court warehouse.

"He did not want me to tell a lot of people about moving these items," Gundy said. "I think he was relieved that it was all out of his house."

He said they returned to the Capitol. Later, they went back to Loughry's home to move the desk from the garage to the van. From there, they moved the desk to a room inside the court warehouse.

"He did not want me to tell a lot of people about moving these items," Gundy said. "I think he was relieved that it was all out of his house."

Gundy testified that he was not aware of any policy for what furniture or office items justice's can have at home.

After discussing the furniture, they moved on to the use of state-owned vehicles. Gundy's job description also includes driving the justices when requested.

However, Gundy said he did not recall ever driving a justice to an event that was not business-related.

He remembered Loughry using state-owned vehicles, not telling the others where he was going, and returning the car with the gas tank nearly empty. Loughry stated several times that the justices didn't need to know where he was going, Gundy testified.

According to Gundy, former Administrative Director of Courts Steve Canterbury also stated the justices did not have to give information about where they were going or a reason for using the vehicles. Gundy said Canterbury did this under the direction of someone else, but he could not recall if Canterbury said who directed him to do that.

A memo from Justice Davis was a piece of evidence. Davis sent the memo on August 25, 2015 to Gundy and Angus, stating there were no formal policies at the time in place for the justices' use of state-owned vehicles.

"There was no written policy that I am aware of," Gundy said.

They did not keep record of the mileage on state-owned vehicles in between trips, he said. Any mileage records would be on inspection stickers, oil change paperwork and maintenance work documents.

In a previous hearing, the delegates questioned witnesses about Justice Davis traveling with a director of court security for personal safety reasons following threats.

Gundy pointed out that it was not necessary for a threat to be made in order for them to request security.

In regards to how the justices interacted in general, Gundy said, "There was some internal strife." After Loughry was elected to chief justice, he said, "There were a lot of folks who were uncomfortable and they feared for their employment." He said there were some people who were fired. Gundy knows this because security officers have to escort those people out.

One firing in particular Gundy spoke about was of Steve Canterbury.

After more than 11 years on the job, Canterbury was ousted from the Supreme Court in January of 2017 by the court's vote of 3-2. Shortly after, Canterbury told our media partner WV MetroNews that his firing was political, "pure and simple."

Canterbury admitted to MetroNews that his relationship with Loughry started to disintegrate some time before his firing, but he chose not to elaborate on what may have caused the problems.

Loughry later blamed Canterbury for all of the expensive renovations at the Supreme Court.

"Mr. Canterbury is a disgruntled, fired employee," Loughry said in a media interview. "He threatened us as he walked out the door and he's trying to set this up for some lawsuit down the road."

Gundy described walking Canterbury out on the day he was terminated. He said Canterbury made comments about deciding whether or not to go to the press "and tell them everything." Gundy did not remember Canterbury specifying what he meant by that.

Over the decade he has worked for the Supreme Court, Gundy said he has witnessed renovations to an outdated conference room, the chamber's ceiling, and justices' offices.

Committee Chairman John Shott (R-Mercer, 27) asked if Gundy ever heard talks of efforts to spend less. Gundy said no.

Jess Gundy finished testifying around noon. The committee took a recess with plans to start back up again at 1 p.m. Shott said they expect to get through four witnesses (including Gundy) before Thursday's hearing ends.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 7/19/18 @ 10:15 a.m.
The unprecedented investigation into the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is resuming Thursday. This is the third of many hearings to determine if lawmakers should move forward with impeachment proceedings against one or more state Supreme Court justices.

You can watch the meeting live here.

The House Judiciary Committee was tasked with interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence.

Thursday's hearing began with witness testimony from Jess Gundy, Deputy Director of Security for the state Supreme Court. He has worked for the court since 2007. Previously, Gundy worked for West Virginia State Police for 22 years.

This historic investigation comes after Justice Loughry was indicted on 23 federal charges. (The original indictment included 22 charges, but a superseding indictment made it 23.) The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, making false statements to a federal agent and obstruction of justice.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

Justice Menis E. Ketchum announced on July 11 that he is retiring and resigning from the high court effective July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

We made an illustrative graphic to quickly get you up to speed on the investigation. You can also read the updates below.

UPDATE 7/13/18 @ 4:50 p.m.
Wrapping up a day of witness testimony and evidence, the committee that's investigating the West Virginia Supreme Court heard from one of the justices himself -- not in person, but in recordings as part of evidence.

Inside the House chambers at the West Virginia State Capitol, the House Judiciary Committee is having hearings to determine if lawmakers should move forward with impeachment proceedings against one or more state Supreme Court justices.

This historic investigation comes after Justice Allen H. Loughry II was indicted on 22 federal charges. The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to a federal agent.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

Justice Menis E. Ketchum announced this week that he is retiring and resigning from the high court effective July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

Friday's hearing was filled with witness testimony and delegate questions, but at the end of it, the committee members got to hear from Loughry in his own words.

First, an audio clip was played of Justice Loughry's testimony to the House Finance Committee in a budget hearing. In the clip, Loughry condemns expensive renovations to Supreme Court offices.

"There is nobody more outraged by these purchases than me," Loughry could be heard saying. "They know I would never approve of such things."

In addition to the federal indictment, the West Virginia Judicial Commission filed 32 formal charges against Loughry in June. They accused the justice of making $363,000 worth of renovations to his Supreme Court office at the State Capitol.

However, in the audio clip, Loughry denies responsibility for the expenses, saying there was clearly oversight and he wants to prevent it from happening in the future.

Following the finance committee clip, the delegates watched a video of a previous media interview with Justice Loughry in which he calls the purchase of a $32,000 couch, among other purchases, shameful.

"I would never defend excessive spending," Loughry said. "I think that it's shameful."

He denies picking out the expensive furniture, instead putting the blame on former Administrative Director of Courts Steve Canterbury. "Mr. Canterbury was in charge of these expenditures. We had no idea the cost of these furnishings."

"Mr. Canterbury is a disgruntled, fired employee," Loughry said. "He threatened us as he walked out the door and he's trying to set this up for some lawsuit down the road."

After more than 11 years on the job, Canterbury was ousted from the Supreme Court in January of 2017 by the court's vote of 3-2. Shortly after, Canterbury told our media partner WV MetroNews that his firing was political, "pure and simple."

Canterbury admitted to MetroNews that his relationship with Loughry started to disintegrate some time before his firing, but he chose not to elaborate on what may have caused the problems.

Loughry said in the interview played on the House floor Friday that he had questioned Canterbury about the costs of the renovations and expressed to the administrative director that he disagreed with them. In the interview he called working with Canterbury "the most unprofessional professional experience" of his life. The justice said Canterbury should be held personally accountable, and he thinks without him, the court will be extremely transparent.

That evidence was shown at the end of day two of many meetings the committee will have.

The first witness called to testify Friday was Scott Harvey who previously worked for the West Virginia Supreme Court as a database administrator and director of technology.

The charges against Loughry also allege that, in addition to the desktop computer and tablet in Loughry's office, the Justice had two desktop computers, a laptop and a printer installed at his home. Harvey was the director of technology during Loughry's tenure.

All computers, printers, wiring, routers, etc. are paid for by the state, Harvey testified.

Harvey said he made at least four visits to Loughry's home for site survey, installation of computers, and testing.

His fourth visit was to address a computer issue, which Harvey said he later found to be a virus or malware.

Aaron Allred, the West Virginia Legislative Manager and Legislative Auditor, testified Thursday that if those charges are true, it is his opinion that Loughry having those extra computers for personal use is in violation of the Ethics Act.

When a delegate asked Harvey if he believed the computers in shared living spaces at Loughry's home appeared to be for family members' use and not for Loughry's work, Harvey stated, "Evidence later would suggest that." It was brought to Harvey's attention, he said, that there were games being played on at least one of the computers and a large number of photographs.

One of those computers in a shared living space was not connected to a Supreme Court network, Harvey said, making him uncomfortable. Harvey recalled that Loughry essentially said he would prefer the computer in the family area not be connected to the court network.

"I don't recall it being secret, it was just a mention of this computer shouldn't be connected to the court network," Harvey said.

As the director of technology, Harvey says he likely had concerns about that, but just did it because someone higher up told him to.

"Basically fear tells you to do the job or you suffer the consequences," Harvey said.

While Harvey says he never thought about it being illegal, he said it bothered him morally.

Given he made several visits to Loughry's home, Harvey was asked about the furniture in the justice's house. The charges also accuse Loughry of moving a used, court-owned Cass Gilbert executive desk from his law clerk office to his home in Charleston. Allred testified Thursday that the desk was appraised and valued at $42,500. Harvey said he recalled seeing a desk in Loughry's home, but could not say with any certainty it was a Cass Gilbert.

Relying on his memory, Harvey said that he believes the other justices had just one computer in each of their homes.

Harvey testified he has never been to Justice Walker's home. He recalled being at Justice Workman's home at least once, he believes, for a computer connection issue between her home and work computers. Harvey said he has been to Justice Davis' home a few times. The issues at Davis' home were also with the home computer connecting to the computer at the Capitol.

The former technology director said he is not aware of any policy in regards to how many computers the justices may have at their homes.

Harvey also testified about times he felt pressured or threatened to do things he was uncomfortable with. In one instance, Harvey said he was pressured into hiring a technology consultant who previously worked on a justice's campaign.

Harvey said Justice Ketchum, whose retirement and resignation takes effect July 27, threatened Harvey's job at least twice. Harvey said Ketchum told him if he did not get John Perdue, the West Virginia State Treasurer, to sign off on a cash-flow change document for that project that he would be fired.

"If I didn't get the treasurer to sign off on a document that I would be fired," Harvey said. "Fear of my job from Justice Ketchum."

This came after a meeting with Treasurer Perdue, Harvey said, where Perdue told him "that's not how it's done" and he was pressured to get the treasurer's approval.

He testified that there were no other instances of being threatened by other justices.

On a separate occasion, Harvey said former Supreme Court Administrative Director Gary L. Johnson asked him to use grant-funded video equipment for something other than its intended purposes. Harvey said he refused.

Harvey finished testifying at about 12:20 p.m. Friday. The committee reconvened around 1:15 p.m. following a lunch break.

Paul Fletcher Adkins, a retired assistant to the administrative director of courts, was the next witness called after lunch. He has degrees in law enforcement and criminal justice and worked for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia for 35 years before retiring in October of 2015.

Delegates questioned Adkins about the policies at the state Supreme Court, how state-owned property is managed, his interactions with the justices, and specific events he may or may not have witnessed. Much of the questioning focused on the justices' office renovations, and specifically, Loughry's.

The alleged expensive renovations to his office include a $32,000 couch, $1,700 throw pillows and $7,500 for a custom-made wooden medallion of the State of West Virginia built into the floor with each county cut from a different colored piece of wood and his home county of Tucker is in blue granite.

The charges also accuse Loughry of moving a used, court-owned Cass Gilbert executive desk from his law clerk office to his home in Charleston. We learned in testimony Thursday that the desk is valued at $42,500 in current condition.

Adkins recalled the moving process of furniture being taken out of Justice Loughry's office to make room for renovations.

He testified that he was present to facilitate and manage the movement of furniture from Loughry's office to a warehouse. Adkins said he was not present for a furniture move to Loughry's home.

"I have not been to Justice Loughry's house in a work situation or a social situation," Adkins said.

He did, however, reference an invoice that states movers dropped something off at a home on the street that Loughry lives on before Adkins joined them for the furniture move to the warehouse.

"I don't remember seeing that with my own eyes and I can't say for sure what was dropped off that day," Adkins said.

When asked if Adkins was aware of any travel policies for the Supreme Court, he said yes, describing the reservation system that witness Justin Robinson discussed on Thursday. He recalled being required to list a purpose and destination for reserving a state-owned vehicle.

Adkins said that policy would have been enforced by then Administrative Director of Courts Steve Canterbury.

Delegate Tom Fast (R-Fayette, 32) asked if Adkins has knowledge of a $500,000 renovation to a justice's office. "From my own personal knowledge I don't know that, but I believe it to be true," Adkins said.

When asked if it was common for a new justice to renovate his or her office, Adkins said, "They would often have certain things done in their office."

"I would say that Justice Davis' office renovation was probably the most expensive and I think Justice Workman's may have been the least expensive and the other ones somewhere in the middle," Adkins stated.

Adkins testified that the items were placed together in the warehouse, but there was no record of what was transferred.

Based on his human resources experience, Adkins said taking state-owned property home could possibly lead to termination. A delegate asked if taking home a $42,500 desk would lead to termination and Adkins responded, "Oh yes."

In his 35 years working for the Supreme Court, Adkins said he can only recall one other time (aside from the allegations of Loughry taking a desk home) that a justice took home a piece of state-owned property. He said Justice Ketchum had a clock moved to his house.

Adkins finished testifying around 3:45 p.m. Friday. The two clips of Loughry's statements were played and the committee adjourned.

Before leaving the Capitol, a group of delegates attempted to do a walk-through in the Supreme Court offices. They were told that nobody was in the office to authorize the visit, and they will have to file a request.

Hearings will resume at 9 a.m. next Thursday, June 19.

This comes after a full day of testimony Thursday that included two witnesses -- both legislative audit employees. Justin Robinson, acting director of the Legislative Post Audit Division Staff, was called as the first witness. He primarily testified about the justices' use of state-owned vehicles, but discussed other audit findings. Aaron Allred, the West Virginia Legislative Manager and Legislative Auditor, was also called as a witness Thursday. Allred primarily testified about the Cass Gilbert desk Loughry is accused of moving to his home, state-owned furniture and property, as well as Supreme Court policies. You can read more about their testimonies in our previous updates below.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 7/13/18 @ 3:50 p.m.
Hearings have resumed for an unprecedented investigation at the West Virginia State Capitol. Inside the House chambers Friday, the House Judiciary Committee is interviewing witnesses to determine if lawmakers should move forward with impeachment proceedings against one or more state Supreme Court justices.

This is day two of many meetings the committee will have. This historic investigation comes after Justice Allen H. Loughry II was indicted on 22 federal charges. The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to a federal agent.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

On Wednesday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice received a letter of retirement and resignation from Supreme Court Justice Menis E. Ketchum. The justice will retire and resign from the court effective Friday, July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

The first witness called to testify Friday was Scott Harvey, who previously worked for the West Virginia Supreme Court as a database administrator and director of technology.

The charges against Loughry also allege that, in addition to the desktop computer and tablet in Loughry's office, the Justice had two desktop computers, a laptop and a printer installed at his home. Harvey was the director of technology during Loughry's tenure.

All computers, printers, wiring, routers, etc. are paid for by the state, Harvey testified.

Harvey said he made at least four visits to Loughry's home for site survey, installation of computers, and testing.

His fourth visit was to address a computer issue, which Harvey said he later found to be a virus or malware.

Aaron Allred, the West Virginia Legislative Manager and Legislative Auditor, testified Thursday that if those charges are true, it is his opinion that Loughry having those extra computers for personal use is in violation of the Ethics Act.

When a delegate asked Harvey if he believed the computers in shared living spaces at Loughry's home appeared to be for family members' use and not for Loughry's work, Harvey stated, "Evidence later would suggest that." It was brought to Harvey's attention, he said, that there were games being played on at least one of the computers and a large number of photographs.

One of those computers in a shared living space was not connected to a Supreme Court network, Harvey said, making him uncomfortable. Harvey recalled that Loughry essentially said he would prefer the computer in the family area not be connected to the court network.

"I don't recall it being secret, it was just a mention of this computer shouldn't be connected to the court network," Harvey said.

As the director of technology, Harvey says he likely had concerns about that, but just did it because someone higher up told him to.

"Basically fear tells you to do the job or you suffer the consequences," Harvey said.

While Harvey says he never thought about it being illegal, he said it bothered him morally.

Given he made several visits to Loughry's home, Harvey was asked about the furniture in the justice's house. The charges also accuse Loughry of moving a used, court-owned Cass Gilbert executive desk from his law clerk office to his home in Charleston. Allred testified Thursday that the desk was appraised and valued at $42,500. Harvey said he recalled seeing a desk in Loughry's home, but could not say with any certainty it was a Cass Gilbert.

Relying on his memory, Harvey said that he believes the other justices had just one computer in each of their homes.

Harvey testified he has never been to Justice Walker's home. He recalled being at Justice Workman's home at least once, he believes, for a computer connection issue between her home and work computers. Harvey said he has been to Justice Davis' home a few times. The issues at Davis' home were also with the home computer connecting to the computer at the Capitol.

The former technology director said he is not aware of any policy in regards to how many computers the justices may have at their homes.

Harvey also testified about times he felt pressured or threatened to do things he was uncomfortable doing. In one instance, Harvey said he was pressured into hiring a technology consultant who previously worked on a justice's campaign.

Harvey said Justice Ketchum, whose retirement and resignation takes effect July 27, threatened Harvey's job at least twice. Harvey said Ketchum told him if he did not get John Perdue, the West Virginia State Treasurer, to sign off on a cash-flow change document for that project that he would be fired.

"If I didn't get the treasurer to sign off on a document that I would be fired," Harvey said. "Fear of my job from Justice Ketchum."

This came after a meeting with Treasurer Perdue, Harvey said, where Perdue told him "that's not how it's done" and he was pressured to get the treasurer's approval.

He testified that there were no other instances of being threatened by other justices.

On a separate occasion, Harvey said former Supreme Court Administrative Director Gary L. Johnson asked him to use grant-funded video equipment for something other than its intended purposes. Harvey said he refused.

Harvey finished testifying at about 12:20 p.m. Friday. The committee will reconvene around 1:15 p.m. following a lunch break.

Paul Fletcher Adkins, a retired assistant to the administrative director of courts, was the next witness called after lunch. He has degrees in law enforcement and criminal justice and worked for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia for 35 years before retiring in October of 2015.

Delegates questioned Adkins about the policies at the state Supreme Court, how state-owned property is managed, his interactions with the justices, and specific events he may or may not have witnessed. Much of the questioning focused on the justices' office renovations, and specifically, Loughry's.

Justice Loughry is accused of making $363,000 worth of renovations to his Supreme Court office at the State Capitol.

Other alleged expensive renovations to his office include a $32,000 couch, $1,700 throw pillows and $7,500 for a custom-made wooden medallion of the State of West Virginia built into the floor with each county cut from a different colored piece of wood and his home county of Tucker is in blue granite.

The charges also accuse Loughry of moving a used, court-owned Cass Gilbert executive desk from his law clerk office to his home in Charleston. We learned in testimony Thursday that the desk is valued at $42,500 in current condition.

Adkins recalled the moving process of furniture being taken out of Justice Loughry's office to make room for renovations.

He testified that he was present to facilitate and manage the movement of furniture from Loughry's office to a warehouse. Adkins said he was not present for a furniture move to Loughry's home.

"I have not been to Justice Loughry's house in a work situation or a social situation," Adkins said.

He did, however, reference an invoice that states movers dropped something off at a home on the street that Loughry lives on before Adkins joined them for the furniture move to the warehouse.

"I don't remember seeing that with my own eyes and I can't say for sure what was dropped off that day," Adkins said.

When asked if Adkins was aware of any travel policies for the Supreme Court, he said yes, describing the reservation system that witness Justin Robinson discussed on Thursday. He recalled being required to list a purpose and destination for reserving a state-owned vehicle.

Adkins said that policy would have been enforced by then Administrative Director of Courts Steve Canterbury.

Delegate Tom Fast (R-Fayette, 32) asked if Adkins has knowledge of a $500,000 renovation to a justice's office. "From my own personal knowledge I don't know that, but I believe it to be true," Adkins said.

When asked if it was common for a new justice to renovate his or her office, Adkins said, "They would often have certain things done in their office."

"I would say that Justice Davis' office renovation was probably the most expensive and I think Justice Workman's may have been the least expensive and the other ones somewhere in the middle," Adkins stated.

Adkins testified that the items were placed together in the warehouse, but there was no record of what was transferred.

Based on his human resources experience, Adkins said taking state-owned property home could possibly lead to termination. A delegate asked if taking home a $42,500 desk would lead to termination and Adkins responded, "Oh yes."

In his 35 years working for the Supreme Court, Adkins said he can only recall one other time (aside from the allegations of Loughry taking a desk home) that a justice took home a piece of state-owned property. He said Justice Ketchum had a clock moved to his house.

Adkins finished testifying around 3:45 p.m. Friday.

This comes after a full day of testimony Thursday that included two witnesses -- both legislative audit employees. Justin Robinson, acting director of the Legislative Post Audit Division Staff, was called as the first witness. He primarily testified about the justices' use of state-owned vehicles, but discussed other audit findings. Aaron Allred, the West Virginia Legislative Manager and Legislative Auditor, was also called as a witness Thursday. Allred primarily testified about the Cass Gilbert desk Loughry is accused of moving to his home, state-owned furniture and property, as well as Supreme Court policies. You can read more about their testimonies in our previous updates below.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 7/13/18 @ 12:30 p.m.
Hearings have resumed for an unprecedented investigation at the West Virginia State Capitol. Inside the House chambers Friday, the House Judiciary Committee is interviewing witnesses to determine if lawmakers should move forward with impeachment proceedings against one or more state Supreme Court justices.

This is day two of many meetings the committee will have. This historic investigation comes after Loughry was indicted on 22 federal charges. The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to a federal agent.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

On Wednesday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice received a letter of retirement and resignation from Supreme Court Justice Menis E. Ketchum. The justice will retire and resign from the court effective Friday, July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

The first witness called to testify Friday was Scott Harvey who previously worked for the West Virginia Supreme Court as a database administrator and dirrector of technology.

The charges against Loughry also allege that, in addition to the desktop computer and tablet in Loughry's office, the Justice had two desktop computers, a laptop and a printer installed at his home. Harvey was the director of technology during Loughry's tenure.

All computers, printers, wiring, routers, etc. are paid for by the state, Harvey testified.

Harvey said he made at least four visits to Loughry's home for site survey, installation of computers, and testing.

His fourth visit was to address a computer issue, which Harvey said he later found to be a virus or malware.

Aaron Allred, the West Virginia Legislative Manager and Legislative Auditor, testified Thursday that if those charges are true, it is his opinion that Loughry having those extra computers for personal use is in violation of the Ethics Act.

When a delegate asked Harvey if he believed the computers in shared living spaces at Loughry's home appeared to be for family members' use and not for Loughry's work, Harvey stated, "Evidence later would suggest that." It was brought to Harvey's attention, he said, that there were games being played on at least one of the computers and a large number of photographs.

One of those computers in a shared living space was not connected to a Supreme Court network, Harvey said, making him uncomfortable. Harvey recalled that Loughry essentially said he would prefer the computer in the family area not be connected to the court network.

"I don't recall it being secret, it was just a mention of this computer shouldn't be connected to the court network," Harvey said.

As the director of technology, Harvey says he likely had concerns about that, but just did it because someone higher up told him to.

"Basically fear tells you to do the job or you suffer the consequences," Harvey said.

While Harvey says he never thought about it being illegal, he said it bothered him morally.

Given he made several visits to Loughry's home, Harvey was asked about the furniture in the justice's house. The charges also accuse Loughry of moving a used, court-owned Cass Gilbert executive desk from his law clerk office to his home in Charleston. Allred testified Thursday that the desk was appraised and valued at $42,500. Harvey said he recalled seeing a desk in Loughry's home, but could not say with any certainty it was a Cass Gilbert.

Relying on his memory, Harvey said that he believes the other justices had just one computer in each of their homes.

Harvey testified he has never been to Justice Walker's home. He recalled being at Justice Workman's home at least once, he believes, for a computer connection issue between her home and work computers. Harvey said he has been to Justice Davis' home a few times. The issues at Davis' home were also with the home computer connecting to the computer at the Capitol.

The former technology director said he is not aware of any policy in regards to how many computers the justices may have at their homes.

Harvey also testified about times he felt pressured or threatened to do things he was uncomfortable with. In one instance, Harvey said he was pressured into hiring a technology consultant who previously worked on a justice's campaign.

Harvey said Justice Ketchum, whose retirement and resignation takes effect July 27, threatened Harvey's job at least twice. Harvey said Ketchum told him if he did not get John Perdue, the West Virginia State Treasurer, to sign off on a cash-flow change document for that project that he would be fired.

"If I didn't get the treasurer to sign off on a document that I would be fired," Harvey said. "Fear of my job from Justice Ketchum."

This came after a meeting with Treasurer Perdue, Harvey said, where Perdue told him "that's not how it's done" and he was pressured to get the treasurer's approval.

He testified that there were no other instances of being threatened by other justices.

On a separate occasion, Harvey said former Supreme Court Administrative Director Gary L. Johnson asked him to use grant-funded video equipment for something other than its intended purposes. Harvey said he refused.

Harvey finished testifying at about 12:20 p.m. Friday. The committee will reconvene around 1:15 p.m. following a lunch break.

This comes after a full day of testimony Thursday that included two witnesses -- both legislative audit employees. Justin Robinson, acting director of the Legislative Post Audit Division Staff, was called as the first witness. He primarily testified about the justices' use of state-owned vehicles, but discussed other audit findings. Aaron Allred, the West Virginia Legislative Manager and Legislative Auditor, was also called as a witness Thursday. Allred primarily testified about the Cass Gilbert desk Loughry is accused of moving to his home, state-owned furniture and property, as well as Supreme Court policies. You can read more about their testimonies in our previous updates below.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 7/13/18 @ 10 a.m.
Hearings have resumed for an unprecedented investigation at the West Virginia State Capitol. Inside the House chambers Friday, the House Judiciary Committee is interviewing witnesses to determine if lawmakers should move forward with impeachment proceedings against one or more state Supreme Court justices.

You can watch the meeting live here.

This is day two of many meetings the committee will have. This historic investigation comes after Loughry was indicted on 22 federal charges. The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to a federal agent.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

On Wednesday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice received a letter of retirement and resignation from Supreme Court Justice Menis E. Ketchum. The justice will retire and resign from the court effective Friday, July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

The first witness called to testify Friday was Scott Harvey who previously worked for the West Virginia Supreme Court as a database administrator and dirrector of technology.

The charges against Loughry also allege that, in addition to the desktop computer and tablet in Loughry's office, the Justice had two desktop computers, a laptop and a printer installed at his home. Harvey was the director of technology during Loughry's tenure.

Harvey said he made at least four visits to Loughry's home for site survey, installation of computers, and testing.

His fourth visit was to address a computer issue, which Harvey said he later found to be a virus or malware.

Aaron Allred, the West Virginia Legislative Manager and Legislative Auditor, testified Thursday that if those charges are true, it is his opinion that Loughry having those extra computers for personal use is in violation of the Ethics Act.

Relying on his memory, Harvey said that he believes the other justices had just one computer in each of their homes.

Harvey testified he has never been to Justice Walker's home. He recalled being at Justice Workman's home at least once, he believes, for a computer connection issue between her home and work computers. Harvey said he has been to Justice Davis' home a few times. The issues at Davis' home were also with the home computer connecting to the computer at the Capitol.

The former technology director said he is not aware of any policy in regards to how many computers the justices may have at their homes.

Given he made several visits to Loughry's home, Harvey was asked about the furniture in the justice's house. The charges also accuse Loughry of moving a used, court-owned Cass Gilbert executive desk from his law clerk office to his home in Charleston. Allred testified Thursday that the desk was appraised and valued at $42,500. Harvey said he recalled seeing a desk in Loughry's home, but could not say with any certainty it was a Cass Gilbert.

This comes after a full day of testimony Thursday that included two witnesses -- both legislative audit employees. Justin Robinson, acting director of the Legislative Post Audit Division Staff, was called as the first witness. He primarily testified about the justices' use of state-owned vehicles, but discussed other audit findings. Aaron Allred, the West Virginia Legislative Manager and Legislative Auditor, was also called as a witness Thursday. Allred primarily testified about the Cass Gilbert desk Loughry is accused of moving to his home, state-owned furniture and property, as well as Supreme Court policies. You can read more about their testimonies in our previous updates below.



UPDATE 7/12/18 @ 11 p.m.
In an unprecedented situation for the West Virginia Legislature, the House Judiciary Committee is calling witnesses and discussing evidence Thursday in their impeachment investigation into the state Supreme Court.

After several hours, testimony wrapped up Thursday night. It will resume at 9 a.m. Friday.

Two witnesses have testified so far -- both legislative audit employees. Delegates are asking questions about state Supreme Court policies, audit findings, and what these witnesses know about the allegations.

This is the first of many meetings the committee will have to determine if there is a case for impeachable offenses against the justices.

Discussions so far have centered around the justices' use of state-owned vehicles, the expensive furniture West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen H. Loughry II allegedly had in his office and his home, and what records are kept about court property.

This historic investigation comes after Loughry was indicted on 22 federal charges. The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to a federal agent.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

On Wednesday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice received a letter of retirement and resignation from Supreme Court Justice Menis E. Ketchum. The justice will retire and resign from the court effective Friday, July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

Over the past week, committee members have been gathering evidence and identifying possible witnesses. Lawmakers voted to have the committee investigate possible wrongdoing or violations by the state's high court. Depending on the outcome, this could lead to the removal of one or more justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Committee Chairman John Shott (R-Mercer, 27) started the meeting Thursday in House chambers by explaining the process and the seriousness of the investigation before them.

A few lawmakers brought into question the rules of the proceedings, and Shott moved forward with the hearing, asking those lawmakers that they discuss the rules during breaks to not waste time.

The first topic was the state's Legislative Auditor investigating the spending habits of the Supreme Court. Specifically, the reports revealed information about the use of state vehicles.

Justin Robinson, acting director of the Legislative Post Audit Division Staff, was called as the first witness.

Delegates asked Robinson questions about the state travel policies, the auditing process, and findings in the reports.

Robinson said they poured over vehicle reservation logs and Justice Loughry reserved a state vehicle on 212 instances. On 148 of those days (or about 70 percent of the time) Robinson says Loughry did not list a destination. The report says that Loughry is the only person, that the auditing staff can recall, that failed to provide a destination.

In regards to Loughry, Robinson said the report found excessive personal use of state vehicles. Auditors calculated mileage, rental car receipts, hotel receipts, and other documents.

Robinson read from a letter written by Justice Loughry in response to the audit in which Loughry disputed the findings.

The second report discusses Justice Davis' use of state vehicles. Robinson said Davis made 75 reservations, 55 of which she provided a destination. According to Robinson, Davis' lawyer denied wrongdoing, saying just because a vehicle was reserved, doesn't mean it was actually used. Out of the remaining 20 reservations, Robinson said Davis could definitively say she did not actually use the vehicle on 13 of those days. For the remaining seven reservations, auditors could not determine if the cars were used and Robinson said Davis could not recall.

Robinson said their audit also found Davis traveled with a director of court security for personal safety reasons. When a lawmaker later asked about the cost of paying that security official on all of Davis' trips between 2011 and 2018, Robinson said he did not have information about that salary and it was not included in the audits.

A trip in particular that was discussed for some time in the meeting was a business trip Davis took to Wheeling and Parkersburg. Robinson said Davis traveled for an anti-truancy event.

In regards to Justice Elizabeth D. Walker's use of state vehicles, Robinson said there were no issues found.

In regards to Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman's use of state vehicles, Robinson said there were no issues found.

Delegate Mike Caputo (R-Marion, 50) asked Robinson if the state investigation the justices using personal vehicles for business purposes and asking for reimbursement. Robinson said that is indeed an option for travel, but personal vehicles were not included in the audits released in April.

Delegate Charlotte Lane (R-Kanawha, 35) asked Robinson about who oversees and authorizes the justices' large expenses. While Robinson provided answers, he said those were assumptions and he couldn't speak to that definitively.

The committee took a lunch break and resumed around 1:45 p.m. Thursday.

Chairman Shott began the second half of the day addressing a motion by Delegate Andrew Robinson (D-Kanawha, 36) to make three amendments to the rules of the proceedings. Shott denied the motion, saying the rules were sent out to committee members for input on June 29 with no feedback and this is not the time to discuss changes. He asked that the rules be discussed outside of the committee meeting time.

This led to a back and forth between Chairman Shott and Judiciary Committee Minority Chair Barbara Evans Fleischauer (D-Monongalia, 51) about the decision to disregard the motion and move forward with the rules as is. Shott said the House rules read that 10 delegates must support Robinson's motion to amend the rules and disagree with the chairman's decision to override him. While Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha, 37) spoke in support of Robinson and Fleischauer, 10 delegates did not raise their hands.

The meeting moved on to more questioning of witness Justin Robinson, Acting Director of the Legislative Post Audit Division Staff.

Discussion quickly re-focused on the court's use of state-owned vehicles and rental vehicles.

Committee members asked Robinson about specific conferences and events the justices attended and the expenses associated with them. Most of the discussion centered around Justice Loughry.

Robinson testified that Loughry's use of a state vehicle did not appear to be for commuting, but rather, personal use.

The committee discussed one instance in which two members of the West Virginia Supreme Court went to the same out-of-town conference and used two separate rental cars.

Just before 4 p.m., a new witness took the stand: Aaron Allred, the West Virginia Legislative Manager and Legislative Auditor.

After a brief introduction, delegates launched into questions about furniture.

Justice Loughry is accused of making expensive renovations to his office including a $32,000 couch, $1,700 throw pillows and $7,500 for a custom-made wooden medallion of the State of West Virginia built into the floor with each county cut from a different colored piece of wood and his home county of Tucker is in blue granite.

The charges also accuse Loughry of moving a used, court-owned Cass Gilbert executive desk from his law clerk office to his home in Charleston.

With the desk's maker and historical significance, Allred testified that the fair market value of the desk is $42,500 in current condition. Full restoration could increase the value, he said.

According to the charges filed against Loughry, the move clearly violated West Virginia code.

Auditors obtained a receipt that states something was moved from the State Capitol to the street where Loughry lives on June 20, 2013.

The charges the West Virginia Judicial Commission filed against Loughry state that the desk was at his home office from December 2012 to November 2017 until it was moved from his house to the warehouse.

Allred testified that his records do not indicate what was moved. Therefore, he cannot say with certainty that Loughry moved the desk from his office to his home. He also cannot say with certainty that a desk was moved on that June 20 date on the receipt.

However, he said auditors do know from interviews that court employees went to Justice Loughry's houses and moved the desk to the court warehouse.

Allred also testified it is not abnormal for an agency, like the state Supreme Court, to have a designated warehouse.

Delegates asked general counsel if taking a piece of property could be considered larceny, even if it was returned. Counsel said larceny is an intent crime. Was the person's intent to eventually give it back? Delegate Andrew Robinson (D-Kanawha, 36) argued that Loughry did not return the couch until his taking of it was made public, showing his intent. Counsel said that's one assumption that could be made.

To his knowledge, Allred said there is no policy on record that indicates what can be taken to a justice's home.

The charges against Loughry also allege that, in addition to the desktop computer and tablet in Loughry's office, the Justice had two desktop computers, a laptop and a printer installed at his home.

Allred said, if those charges are true, it is his opinion that Loughry having those extra computers for personal use is in violation of the Ethics Act.

The conversation also included alleged renovations to Loughry's office.

Allred said he can provide invoices, but he is not sure if those invoices are broken down by justice. There is also no inventory to keep track of state-owned items at the West Virginia Supreme Court, he testified.

When asked by a lawmaker if he recommends legislative change to create an inventory, he said yes, if the statute doesn't already require it.

"I find it unreasonable the Supreme Court did not even have an inventory of what they own on behalf of the citizens of West Virginia," Allred said. ""In my 25 years here, I'm not sure I've ever found an agency of this size that simply had a complete lack of inventory control."

A delegate asked Allred if it bothers him that there are warehouses in the state potentially filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of state property. Allred simply replied, "Yes."

After nearly two hours of testimony, Allred was dismissed and the committee took a dinner break around 5:30 p.m. Thursday with plans to resume discussions about legislative audits afterwards.

That testimony wrapped up later Thursday night. Proceedings will get underway again at 9 a.m. Friday.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 7/12/18 @ 2:20 p.m.
In an unprecedented situation for the West Virginia legislature, the House Judiciary Committee is calling witnesses and discussing evidence Thursday in their impeachment investigation into the state Supreme Court.

You can watch the meeting live here.

This historic investigation comes after West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen H. Loughry II was indicted on 22 federal charges. The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to a federal agent.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

On Wednesday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice received a letter of retirement and resignation from Supreme Court Justice Menis E. Ketchum. The justice will retire and resign from the court effective Friday, July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

Over the past week, committee members have been gathering evidence and identifying possible witnesses. Lawmakers voted to have the committee investigate possible wrongdoing or violations by the state's high court. Depending on the outcome, this could lead to the removal of one or more justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Committee Chairman John Shott (R-Mercer, 27) started the meeting Thursday in House chambers by explaining the process and the seriousness of the investigation before them.

A few lawmakers brought into question the rules of the proceedings, and Shott moved forward with the hearing, asking those lawmakers that they discuss the rules during breaks to not waste time.

The first topic was the state's Legislative Auditor investigating the spending habits of the Supreme Court. Specifically, the reports revealed information about the use of state vehicles.

Justin Robinson, Acting Director of the Legislative Post Audit Division Staff, was called as the first witness.

Delegates asked Robinson questions about the state travel policies, the auditing process, and findings in the reports.

Robinson said they poured over vehicle reservation logs and Justice Loughry reserved a state vehicle on 212 instances. On 148 of those days (or about 70 percent of the time) Robinson says Loughry did not list a destination. The report says that Loughry is the only person, that the auditing staff can recall, that failed to provide a destination.

In regards to Loughry, Robinson said the report found excessive personal use of state vehicles. Auditors calculated mileage, rental car receipts, hotel receipts, and other documents.

Robinson read from a letter written by Justice Loughry in response to the audit in which Loughry disputed the findings.

The second report discusses Justice Davis' use of state vehicles. Robinson said Davis made 75 reservations, 55 of which she provided a destination. According to Robinson, Davis' lawyer denied wrongdoing, saying just because a vehicle was reserved, doesn't mean it was actually used. Out of the remaining 20 reservations, Robinson said Davis could definitively say she did not actually use the vehicle on 13 of those days. For the remaining seven reservations, auditors could not determine if the cars were used and Robinson said Davis could not recall.

Robinson said their audit also found Davis traveled with a director of court security for personal safety reasons. When a lawmaker later asked about the cost of paying that security official on all of Davis' trips between 2011 and 2018, Robinson said he did not have information about that salary and it was not included in the audits.

A trip in particular that was discussed for some time in the meeting was a business trip Davis took to Wheeling and Parkersburg. Robinson said Davis traveled for an anti-truancy event.

In regards to Justice Elizabeth D. Walker's use of state vehicles, Robinson said there were no issues found.

In regards to Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman's use of state vehicles, Robinson said there were no issues found.

Delegate Mike Caputo (R-Marion, 50) asked Robinson if the state investigation the justices using personal vehicles for business purposes and asking for reimbursement. Robinson said that is indeed an option for travel, but personal vehicles were not included in the audits released in April.

Delegate Charlotte Lane (R-Kanawha, 35) asked Robinson about who oversees and authorizes the justices' large expenses. While Robinson provided answers, he said those were assumptions and he couldn't speak to that definitively.

The committee took a lunch break and resumed around 1:45 p.m. Thursday.

Chairman Shott began the second half of the day addressing a motion by Delegate Andrew Robinson (D-Kanawha, 36) to make three amendments to the rules of the proceedings. Shott denied the motion, saying the rules were sent out to committee members for input on June 29 with no feedback and this is not the time to discuss changes. He asked that the rules be discussed outside of the committee meeting time.

This led to a back and forth between Chairman Shott and Judiciary Committee Minority Chair Barbara Evans Fleischauer (D-Monongalia, 51) about the decision to disregard the motion and move forward with the rules as is. Shott said the House rules read that 10 delegates must support Robinson's motion to amend the rules and disagree with the chairman's decision to override him. While Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha, 37) spoke in support of Robinson and Fleischauer, 10 delegates did not raise their hands.

The meeting moved on to more questioning of witness Justin Robinson, Acting Director of the Legislative Post Audit Division Staff.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 7/12/18 @ 11:55 a.m.
In an unprecedented situation for the West Virginia legislature, the House Judiciary Committee is calling witnesses and discussing evidence Thursday in their impeachment investigation into the state Supreme Court.

You can watch the meeting live here.

This historic investigation comes after West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen H. Loughry II was indicted on 22 federal charges. The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to a federal agent.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

On Wednesday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice received a letter of retirement and resignation from Supreme Court Justice Menis E. Ketchum. The justice will retire and resign from the court effective Friday, July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

Over the past week, committee members have been gathering evidence and identifying possible witnesses. Lawmakers voted to have the committee investigate possible wrongdoing or violations by the state's high court. Depending on the outcome, this could lead to the removal of one or more justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Committee Chairman John Shott (R-Mercer, 27) started the meeting Thursday in House chambers by explaining the process and the seriousness of the investigation before them.

A few lawmakers brought into question the rules of the proceedings, and Shott moved forward with the hearing, asking those lawmakers that they discuss the rules during breaks to not waste time.

The first topic was the state's Legislative Auditor investigating the spending habits of the Supreme Court. Specifically, the reports revealed information about the use of state vehicles.

Justin Robinson, Acting Director of the Legislative Post Audit Division Staff, was called as the first witness.

Robinson said they poured over vehicle reservation logs and Justice Loughry reserved a state vehicle on 212 instances. On 148 of those days (or about 70 percent of the time) Robinson says Loughry did not list a destination. The report says that Loughry is the only person, that the auditing staff can recall, that failed to provide a destination.

In regards to Loughry, Robinson said the report found excessive personal use of state vehicles. Auditors calculated mileage, rental car receipts, hotel receipts, and other documents.

Robinson read from a letter written by Justice Loughry in response to the audit in which Loughry disputed the findings.

The second report discusses Justice Davis' use of state vehicles. Robinson said Davis made 75 reservations, 55 of which she provided a destination. According to Robinson, Davis' lawyer denied wrongdoing, saying just because a vehicle was reserved, doesn't mean it was actually used.

In regards to Justice Elizabeth D. Walker's use of state vehicles, Robinson said there were no issues found.

In regards to Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman's use of state vehicles, Robinson said there were no issues found.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 7/12/18 @ 11:13 a.m.
The House Judiciary Committee is calling witnesses and discussing evidence Thursday in their impeachment investigation into the state Supreme Court.

You can watch the meeting live here.

This historic investigation comes after West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen H. Loughry II was indicted on 22 federal charges. The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to a federal agent.

Over the past week, committee members have been gathering evidence and identifying possible witnesses. Lawmakers voted to have the committee investigate possible wrongdoing or violations by the state's high court. Depending on the outcome, this could lead to the removal of one or more justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Committee Chairman John Shott (R-Mercer) started the meeting Thursday in House chambers by explaining the process and the seriousness of the investigation before them.

A few lawmakers brought into question the rules of the proceedings, and Shott moved forward with the hearing, asking those lawmakers that they discuss the rules during breaks to not waste time.

The first topic was the state's Legislative Auditor investigating the spending habits of the Supreme Court. Specifically, the reports revealed information about the use of state vehicles.

Justin Robinson, Acting Director of the Legislative Post Audit Division Staff, was called as the first witness.

Robinson said they poured over vehicle reservation logs and Justice Loughry reserved a state vehicle on 212 instances. On 148 of those days (or about 70 percent of the time) Robinson says Loughry did not list a destination. The report says that Loughry is the only person, that the auditing staff can recall, that failed to provide a destination.

In regards to Loughry, Robinson said the report found excessive personal use of state vehicles. Auditors calculated mileage, rental car receipts, hotel receipts, and other documents.

Robinson read from a letter written by Justice Loughry in response to the audit in which Loughry disputed the findings.

The second report discusses Justice Davis' use of state vehicles. Robinson said Davis made 75 reservations, 55 of which she did not provide a destination. According to Robinson, Davis' lawyer denied wrongdoing, saying just because a vehicle was reserved, doesn't mean it was actually used.

The Legislative Auditor determined that 495 individuals use state-owned vehicles to commute during the six months covered in the analysis.

Justice Loughry is currently suspended from the bench without pay.

On Wednesday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice received a letter of retirement and resignation from Supreme Court Justice Menis E. Ketchum. The justice will retire and resign from the court effective Friday, July 27.

Remaining on the bench are Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Robin Jean Davis, and Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 7/5/18 @ 3:10 p.m.
The West Virginia House Judiciary Committee released an update Thursday about an impeachment investigation into the state's Supreme Court.

In June, lawmakers unanimously passed House Resolution 201, which means the House Judiciary Committee will further investigate impeachable offenses against the justices.

This comes after West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen H. Loughry II was indicted on 22 federal charges. The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to a federal agent.

The committee had its first meeting June 26 to discuss what impeachment means, as well as the responsibilities and expectations.

Since that first meeting, Committee Chairman John Shott (R-Mercer) says members have been working to gather evidence. They are also working to identify and schedule potential witnesses.

Chairman Shott says the committee will meet again Thursday, July 12 through Saturday, July 14. After that, the committee will recess and allow the staff to organize more evidence and witnesses before another three-day schedule of meetings Thursday, July 19 through Saturday, July 21.

Shott also appointed a bipartisan team of managers to oversee the process. This team of managers would present any potential articles of impeachment to the full House of Delegates. If the articles are adopted in the House, the team would also be responsible for the trial in the Senate.

“I am confident that we can proceed in an impartial and non-partisan manner commensurate with the seriousness of the assignment entrusted to us,” Chairman Shott stated in a press release.

Those managers include Chairman Shott, Committee Vice-Chairman Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay), and Delegates Ray Hollen (R-Wirt), Andrew Byrd (D-Kanawha), and Rodney Miller (D-Boone).

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 6/27/18 @ 4:30 p.m.
The West Virginia Association for Justice has released an official statement on the legislative passage of HR 201, allowing the House Judiciary Committee to further investigate impeachable offenses against the justices:

"The West Virginia Association for Justice applauds the bipartisan action of the West Virginia Legislature and Gov. Jim Justice for their decision to investigate and possibly impeach Justice Allen Loughry in the wake of his federal indictment last week. The allegations are unprecedented and extremely troubling. The West Virginia Supreme Court is the state's highest court and chief arbiter of law. It is critical that our citizens have the highest confidence in that court, and its justices be above reproach," said Stephen P. New, president of the West Virginia Association for Justice.

"It is important as this difficult investigation moves forward that the Legislature proceeds in a fair and open manner as required by the West Virginia Constitution and state code governing the process. It is critical that any decisions and recommended actions should be based on the evidence and testimony presented. We trust the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee will do so."



UPDATE 6/26/18 @ 3:51 p.m.
The West Virginia House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday during a special session to allow a committee to move forward with possible impeachment proceedings against one or more Supreme Court justices.

Lawmakers unanimously passed House Resolution 201, which means the House Judiciary Committee will further investigate impeachable offenses against the justices.

This comes after West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen H. Loughry II was indicted on 22 federal charges. The indictment includes mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to a federal agent.

On Friday, Loughry pleaded not guilty in federal court in Charleston. The charges stem from $363,000 worth of renovations to his Supreme Court office at the West Virginia State Capitol.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Speaker of the House Tim Armstead sent a letter to the Joint Judiciary Committee last week, saying the purpose of the letter was to initiate a process of impeachment which "may be necessary for any members of members of the Supreme Court of Appeals."

Now that the House passed HR 201, the Judiciary Committee will investigate and bring its findings to the House floor.

During the special session, Assistant Minority Whip Delegate Isaac Sponaugle (D – Pendleton, 55) asked for impeachment proceedings to be complete by July 23 so West Virginians would be able to vote for a new justice, if necessary, in the November general election. He asked to amend bill, adding that July deadline, because candidates must file by Aug. 14 to be on the November ballot.

That amendment was struck down by a vote of 57 to 32 and 11 not voting.

House Speaker Tim Armstead asked to recuse himself from the vote and the impeachment proceedings that could follow because of a possible conflict of interest. Armstead has been considering for some time to run for a seat on the West Virginia Supreme Court.

Immediately after the vote on the House floor, the committee had its first meeting. They discussed what impeachment means, as well as the responsibilities and expectations.

Lawmakers say the next meeting will be no later than Monday, July 16. They do not plan on meeting next week because of the 4th of July holiday.



UPDATE 6/25/18 @ 5:42 p.m.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is calling a special session Tuesday to discuss and move forward with impeachment proceedings.

This session is in regards to Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry who was indicted on federal charges.

Gov. Justice issued a proclamation Monday, calling for the West Virginia Legislature to begin a special session Tuesday at noon.

"The special session call allows the Legislature to consider matters relating to the removal of one or more Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, and legislation authorizing and appropriating the expenditure of public funds to pay the expenses for the Extraordinary Session," representatives from the governor's office wrote in a press release.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Speaker of the House Tim Armstead sent a letter to the Joint Judiciary Committee last week, saying the purpose of the letter was to initiate a process of impeachment which "may be necessary for any members of members of the Supreme Court of Appeals."

ORIGINAL STORY 6/22/18
The West Virginia Senate President and Speaker of the House have sent a letter regarding impeachment proceedings to the Joint Judiciary Committee.

The letter concerns Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Speaker of the House Tim Armstead say that due to the recent legislative audit, investigation and Federal court action related to Loughry's indictment are cause for great concern to the state legislature.

They say the purpose of the letter is to initiate a process of impeachment which 'may be necessary for any members of members of the Supreme Court of Appeals.'

Armstead and Carmichael are asking the committee to review all available evidence.

They say impeachment proceedings can be initiated and concluded within a day or two.

"It is our opinion that the most efficient and time-effective manner of considering impeachment proceedings is for a subcommittee of the Joint Judiciary committee to undertake an immediate review of this matter as part of the open and public interim process. This review would allow the committee to reach a determination of whether it wishes to introduce and consider articles of impeachment against one or more members of the Supreme Court of Appeals as well as to consider and recommend to us any additional action deemed appropriate in relation to the current matters relating to the court."

They are asking for the matter to be considered in just a subcommittee of the Joint Judiciary Committee composed only of House members.

Justice Loughry was indicted Wednesday on 22 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, witness tampering, and making false statements to a federal agent.













Two members of the media pool taking the tour, Craig Hudson of the Gazette Daily-Mail and Brad McElhinny of West Virginia Metro News, wait for the start of the tour. WV Press photo


 
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