CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – UPDATE (6/25/18 5:35 PM):
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has issued a special session call to allow the Legislature to consider matters relating to the removal of one or more Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
The proclamation calls for the West Virginia Legislature to convene in special session at 12 PM on Tuesday, June 26th, 2018.
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.
West Virginia Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Mitch Carmichael are calling on the Joint Judiciary Committee to begin considering impeachment proceedings.
The legislative leaders are requesting the Joint Judiciary Committee, as part of its June 2018 interim meetings, initiate a process of reviewing all available information for the purpose of evaluating impeachment proceedings which may be necessary for any member or members of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.
“Investigations regarding the troubling allegations at the West Virginia Supreme Court have been ongoing, including by legislative auditors. There is an ample and sufficient body of evidence available for your Committee to begin a review of these matters. We require that the committee and staff immediately review all available evidence, including the Legislative Audit reports produced this year by the Legislative Auditor regarding the Supreme Court, the Judicial Investigation Committee complaint filed against Justice Loughry, and the Federal indictment which has been returned against Justice Loughry and any related materials,” Armstead and Carmichael said in a letter to Senator Charles Trump and Delegate John Shott.
The leadership said 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 the leadership additional action deemed appropriate in relation to the current matters relating to the court.
If impeachment proceedings become necessary, leaders say they will work with Governor Justice to request a special session.