WVa governor calls special session on suspended justice
CHARLETON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has called the state Legislature into special session next week to consider removing suspended Justice Allen Loughry.
The session is to convene Tuesday to consider matters including impeachment, trial and other issues.
The West Virginia Supreme Court last month effectively halted the Legislature’s remaining efforts to impeach the state’s justices as a violation of the separate of power doctrine.
The court ruled that the Senate lacks jurisdiction to pursue its impeachment trial of Justice Margaret Workman. The Senate postponed Workman’s trial after the presiding judge didn’t show up following the court ruling. A panel of acting justices said the court’s decision to stop Workman’s impeachment hearing also applies to retired Justice Robin Davis and Loughry, who had petitioned the court to intervene.
Loughry was convicted last month of 11 federal criminal charges, including wire fraud involving his personal use of state cars and fuel cards and mail fraud. He has requested a new trial.
Workman, Davis, Loughry and Justice Beth Walker were impeached by the House in August over questions involving lavish office renovations that evolved into accusations of corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty. Walker was cleared of an impeachment charge at her Senate trial last month.