The House of Delegates voted 89 to 0 this week to launch an investigation into spending practices at the state Supreme Court, and whether any justices used state property such as cars, for personal gain.
The main focus is on suspended Justice Allen Loughry who is also under federal indictment. The matter will be investigated first, by the House Judiciary Committee. We’ll discuss impeachment this Sunday on our program, “Inside West Virginia Politics.”
“We also have information that he may have lied under oath to the Finance Committee in the House of Delegates, which obviously from my standpoint would be an impeachable offense. But overall, this outlandish spending of taxpayer money, that has gone unchecked for years,” said Del. Shawn Fluharty, (D) Ohio.
“I think it would be imprudent, even improper for me, to comment on the merits of the case, because likely I’ll be sitting as a juror in this case if it gets to the Senate,” said State Sen. Ed Gaunch, (R) Kanawha.
The process could be lengthy. A motion to have the House investigation complete by July 23rd was defeated.
“I think it’s very important that we get this right. That we do it in a way that’s fair, that provides all parties the opportunity to present their case,” said Del. Paul Espinosa, (R) Jefferson.
Staff members will be pouring through thousands of pages of potential evidence. The Special Session on Impeachment was called Tuesday by Governor Justice.
“But you know it casts a little bit of a dark day on West Virginia, and I hate that.” But at the same time, we’ll get through it,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
“It’s unlikely there will be much work done in the impeachment investigation next week because of the holiday. But come Monday July 9th, it’s likely the Judiciary Committee members and staff will kick into high gear,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.