West Virginia House committee votes to impeach entire state Supreme Court
A West Virginia House committee on Tuesday reportedly voted to impeach the entire state Supreme Court.
The state’s House Judiciary Committee approved 14 articles of impeachment against all four sitting justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.
The charges against the sitting justices include “unnecessary and lavish” spending of taxpayer dollars, maladministration, corruption and neglect of duty, according to the newspaper.
For the most part, the justices face allegations that they used state resources and money to line their pockets and fund their lifestyles, it added.
Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justice Robin Davis are reportedly both the subject of four articles of impeachment, while Justice Beth Walker is the subject of two.
Justice Allen Loughry, who is the subject of eight articles, is facing additional charges related to abusing access to state resources, the newspaper reported.
Loughry is the subject of a 23-count federal indictment, which includes charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, making false statements to a federal agent multiple times, obstruction of justice and witness tampering, according to the Gazette-Mail. Loughry was suspended from the bench in June, and his trial is slated to begin in October, it noted.
The articles will next be presented in the full House, the newspaper reported, adding that if they get a majority of the House vote and a two-thirds vote in the Senate, the Senate will start impeachment trials.
Former Justice Menis Ketchum resigned from the bench last month and pleaded guilty to one count of federal wire fraud last week, according to the newspaper.
The sitting justices each have more than two years left on their terms, according to the Gazette-Mail, which added that they will be barred from seeking public office in West Virginia again if they are impeached.