The week begins with more drama surrounding the West Virginia Supreme Court, and week number three of House impeachment hearings.
Judiciary Committee Chairman John Shott has now written the Interim Court Administrator, asking for a legislative tour, with three members of a media pool to be included. While the entire high court faces potential impeachment, the focus continues to center on now suspended Justice Allen Loughry, who faces allegations of improper use of state vehicles and unauthorized use of state property in his home.
“Oh, I think he should resign. I think that this makes the whole judicial system look bad. I think it makes lawyers look bad. I think it makes elected officials look bad,” said Del. Barbara Evans Fleischauer, (D) Monongalia.
But other lawmakers remain undecided and want to hear more evidence.
“There are definitely things we have to look at and ponder. I mean and weigh how serious some of this stuff is,” said Del. Mark Zatezalo, (R) Hancock.
Some of this centers on whether Loughry had a right to keep a state-owned, historic Cass Gilbert desk in a home office where he says he did court work.
“Everyone knew and called the desks the Cass Gilbert desks,” said Del. Fleischauer.
“On the other hand I don’t know that there are any written policies that said you can’t do it for your own office in your home,” said Del. Zatezalo.
Impeachment hearings resume 9 a.m. Thursday.
Mark Curtis, 13 News Working for You
“Aside from the impeachment hearings there will be other legal action this week. On Wednesday suspended Justice Allen Loughry will be arraigned here at the federal courthouse on another indictment for obstruction of justice,” said Mark Curtis 13 News Chief Political Reporter.
Now late Monday afternoon the state Judicial Investigation Commission said it has completed investigations on ethics complaints against Supreme Court Justices Robin Jean Davis, Beth Walker and Chief Justice Margaret Workman. The commission closed all three cases, taking no disciplinary actions against those three justices. Meanwhile, Justice Menis Ketchum retires this Friday.
The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has reversed their decision to ban the media from touring the court.
In a release, the Supreme Court announced that they will be allowing media to attend the tours of the Justices’ Chambers and Conference Room.
There were two conditions in the Courts’ statement. The first being that no photos or videos be taken of interior hallways doorways or windows, and the second, that the tours take place between Wednesday, August 1st, and Friday, August 3rd, 2018
The tours will still likely be broken into two sessions to ensure reasonable tour sizes.