CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The Latest on impeachment proceeding in the West Virginia Senate involving impeached state Supreme Court justices (all times local):
West Virginia’s Senate president has rejected a proposed agreement that would have allowed two impeached Supreme Court justices to keep their seats.
Senate President Mitch Carmichael said a resolution that would have censured justices Beth Walker and Margaret Workman was out of order.
Ohio County Republican Sen. Ryan Ferns had objected to the resolution to approve the agreement, saying it was premature to make a decision without hearing any evidence. After a brief conference, Carmichael agreed.
The deal had been reached between attorneys for the two justices and House of Delegates managers serving as prosecutors in upcoming impeachment trials. Under the agreement, Walker and Workman would have taken responsibility for the cost of renovating their offices and continued to implement reforms to improve the court’s administration.
Instead, impeachment trial dates were set for Oct. 1 for Walker and Oct. 15 for Workman.
In addition, a Nov. 12 trial date was set for suspended Justice Allen Loughry.
A proposed agreement has been reached with two of four impeached West Virginia Supreme Court justices that would publicly censure the pair and dismiss impeachment articles.
The agreement announced at the start of a pre-trial process Tuesday involves justices Beth Walker and Margaret Workman. It was reached with House of Delegates managers serving as prosecutors in the impeachment trial.
The state Senate agreed to recess after the agreement was announced. The Senate is serving as a jury in the proceedings.
Under the agreement, Walker and Workman would take responsibility for the cost of renovating their offices and continue to implement reforms to improve the court’s administration.
Workman’s attorney, Ben Bailey, told the Senate the agreement is in the best interests of all parties.
Four impeached Supreme Court justices in West Virginia are set for initial appearances before the state Senate.
The Senate plans to meet Tuesday. The justices or their lawyers are to appear and a pre-trial conference phase is expected to begin. Trial dates have not been set.
The House voted last month to impeach four justices. Justice Robin Davis resigned afterward. The other impeached justices are Allen Loughry, Beth Walker and Margaret Workman.
A fifth justice, Menis Ketchum, resigned before the impeachment proceedings began.
The impeachments stemmed from questions involving renovations to the justices’ offices. Those questions evolved into accusations of corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty.
Democratic lawmakers, who hold minorities in the House and Senate, have characterized the impeachments as an unprecedented power grab by the GOP.