UPDATE: Former W.Va. Supreme Court Justice will face judge for plea hearing

By  | 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WV MetroNews) -- UPDATE 8/8/18 @ 5 p.m.
According to WV MetroNews, former state Supreme Court Justice Menis Ketchum is set to appear for a plea hearing in federal court .

The office of U.S. District John Copenhaver confirmed Wednesday the hearing has been initially set for at 11 a.m. Aug. 23 in Charleston Federal Court.

Ketchum, 75, of Huntington, has signed a federal information where he agrees to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with an ongoing federal investigation into the state Supreme Court by U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart.

An information indicates Ketchum is cooperating with federal investigators by agreeing to waive indictment and admit to using a state-owned vehicle and state-issued fuel card for personal travel in 2014.

Stuart announced the charges against Ketchum last week, just a few days after his retirement from the Court became official.

Ketchum faces a maximum of 20 years for the wire fraud case and a $250,000 fine.

However, there are many adjustments that can be made through federal sentencing guidelines.

As the House Judiciary Committee is considering articles of impeachment for the remaining four justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court, it begs the question, what happens if all of them are removed?

Click here to see the original story.

Former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin is not connected to these proceedings, but he offered insight into the legal perspective involved.

"Because we are in such uncharted territory, there are some questions that even if you look it up in the book, you can't find the answer," Goodwin said.

The court's second term begins Sept. 5. Justices Walker, Workman, and Davis will work regardless of the fact that impeachment proceedings are going on. They will work without Justice Allen Loughry, who is suspended because of his federal indictment.

The fourth justice will be appointed by Gov. Jim Justice for the seat vacated by Menis Ketchum. However, voters will get to pick a replacement for that seat on the November ballot because Ketchum resigned more than 84 days before the general election.

Should any other justices be impeached, it would need to happen before Aug. 14 to be seen on the ballot in November.

"Whoever the governor appoints will serve a long time, they will serve until the next election, which likely won't be until the 2020 primary election," Goodwin said.

The full House of Delegates will continue impeachment proceedings on Monday.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus