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Culture > News

Breakdown of the West Virginia Supreme Court impeachment trials

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at WVU chapter.

In a week full of political scandals, West Virginia takes first place with an unprecedented approach to solidify the state’s political agenda. Every Justice on the West Virginia Supreme Court has either resigned or is facing impeachment.

Earlier this month, the impeachment trials started for four of the justices including, Margaret Workman, Allen Loughry, Elizabeth Walker and Robin Davis. These justices are facing impeachment due to a number of unethical accounts of lavish spending for office renovations besides Robin Davis who has already resigned.

According to House Speaker Pro Tempore, John Overington, there are 11 counts of impeachment including, wasteful spending, maladministration (dishonesty in the given position), incompetency, neglectfulness and possible criminal behavior.

With all of this going on, Justice Davis has started a political uprising accusing the majority (republicans) of pushing the impeachment process for political gain. Democrats have waged a partisan debate on the republicans, agreeing with Davis’ statement.

So….what does all this mean?

Basically, all of the justices of the West Virginia Supreme court have either retired or are facing impeachment for a number of ethic violations. Justice Davis, who is no longer in office, is blaming all of this as the republican party trying to push out the Justices for their political gain. Whether that is true or not, this is what they are getting charged with.

One Justice that resigned in July, Justice Menis Ketchum, later plead guilty to one felony count of wire fraud for improper use of a state fuel credit card.

There are three other justices that have not resigned and are facing impeachment trials in the Senate. Justice Workman is facing charges of overpaying judges’ salaries and accounting fraud. Justice Walker is facing accusations that include wasting state funds. Justice Loughry is facing a federal charge that includes the misuse of state car, stealing state antiques and lying to the FBI.

Justice Davis, the one who raised the question of political corruption, announced her immediate retirement on August 14. She is accused of unnecessary spending of approximately half a million dollars renovating her office.

Some settling proposals are in the works as of September 16, but if any impeachments stick, Governor Justice will have to fill the seats.

Maura is a senior at West Virginia University, studying honors journalism and leadership. She was the president of Her Campus at WVU from 2018-2019, interns with ESPN College GameDay and works as a marketing/communication assistant for the Reed College of Media. On campus, she has written opinion for WVU's Daily Athenaeum, served as the PR chair for WVU Society of Professional Journalists and was a reporter for WVUToday. She teaches leadership classes for the Honors College and is an active member of both the Honors Student Association and Helvetia Honorary. Maura is an avid fan of The New Yorker, (most) cities and the first half of late-night talk shows.