Much of the investigation’s focus is on what’s now known as the Military Tribute at the Greenbrier professional golf tournament.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says he stopped taking a state sponsorship for the tournament when he ran and was elected governor. “But I turned down a million, $750,000 sponsorship from the state because I didn’t think it was right. And naturally since I came into office I’ve not taken a dime,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R-West Virginia).
However the Greenbrier Resort – and not the golf event – continues to receive tourism advertising co-op dollars form the state, including nearly $50,000 just last November. But our legal analyst says it may be perfectly legal.
“The Greenbrier, which is a major tourism driver, and a significant investment for many businesses all in Greenbrier County and surrounding areas, and a crown jewel for West Virginia. The fact that there are co-op advertising programs with state travel and tourism, it’s not unusual at all,” said Attorney Harry Bell, a legal analyst.
The big question is where the investigation is going, given the sheer volume of documents subpoenaed:
“Sometimes you get in and you get a lot of information, a lot of documentation. And you find that what someone may have tipped you off, or suggests what was going on, wasn’t really there. You may also find other things,” said attorney Harry Bell.
The Governor says he’s done nothing wrong.
“And there is no chance that Jim Justice is going to take advantage of anything within our state, or anybody to benefit himself. There’s no way,” said Gov. Justice.
This year’s golf tournament at the Greenbrier has been moved from July to September.
Some lawmakers have expressed concern about just how distracted the Governor might be by this investigation. Senators and Delegates are due back here soon for a special session on education reform and other big issues, and they want the Governor’s full attention.