West Virginia lawmakers, media take Supreme Court tour
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia lawmakers toured the state Supreme Court’s offices Monday as part of an investigation into whether to recommend impeachment proceedings for Justice Allen Loughry.
House Judiciary Committee members were joined by a media pool on the tour Monday at the state Capitol in Charleston. MetroNews reporter Brad McElhinny provided a pool report.
The visitors spent five or 10 minutes in Loughry’s office and inspected a $32,000 suede couch while commenting on the cost of the couch and the pillows, according to the report. No one sat on it.
“It looks like a regular couch to me,” House Democratic counsel Joe Altizer said.
Visitors also looked at the wooden inlaid floor designed for Loughry.
“It is beautiful,” said Delegate Barbara Fleischauer, D-Monongalia.
Chief Justice Margaret Workman greeted delegates in her office and offered to field any questions. She pointed out that the wooden floor and a wooden cabinet were the only items renovated with taxpayer dollars. “Where I spent the money that I spent was on permanent fixtures, all the built-in cabinets, shelving and flooring that will be here a hundred years from now,” she said.
The tour was delayed from last month after the committee cited concerns about possible open meetings law violations because the court initially refused to allow photography or video of the tour.
Loughry has pleaded not guilty in federal court to multiple counts involving alleged fraud. He was suspended over similar allegations that he repeatedly lied about using his office for personal gain.
House Judiciary Committee Democrats have demanded a vote on recommending impeachment proceedings, saying there’s more than enough evidence to move forward.
Information from: WCHS-TV, http://www.wchstv.com