CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH Reports) — The West Virginia House Judiciary Committee Tuesday read out loud proposed 14 articles of impeachment against Justices Allen Loughry, Margaret Workman, Robin Davis and Beth Walker.
West Virginia House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Shott said Tuesday the managers of the panel believe it is necessary to introduce articles of impeachment for all of the remaining justices on the state Supreme Court. The committee voted to take up each article of proposed impeachment individually.
The panel had not voted on the articles as of 10:15 a.m., but Shott said the court had showed a “cavalier indifference” to protect taxpayer funds and assets and showed a superior attitude.
“This is a sad day for our state and court,” Shott said. “This is not a cause for celebration, but it is the view of our managers these articles are necessary to restore confidence in our judiciary.”
The first article of proposed impeachment includes Workman and Davis and alleges they assigned contracts to overpay senior status judges over the maximum allowed.
Article two of proposed impeachment includes Workman, Loughry, Davis and Walker and claims they wasted public funds and failed to provide proper oversight of the court through lavish spending on their offices, travel budgets and computer and home office use.
Loughry is the focus of article three, which deals with the Cass Gilbert desk he had transported from the Capitol to his home, where it remained for more than four years until it was transferred back to the state warehouse after controversy surfaced.
Article four deals with Loughry’s use of state computers at his home, including one that was for personal use and not connected to the court network.
Loughry also is the focus of article five, which alleges he used a state vehicle and fuel card for personal use to travel to The Greenbrier resort for book sales and signings.
Article six of the proposed articles of impeachment deals with Loughry and claims he violated state code by overpaying senior status judges.
In article seven, the committee is alleging that Loughry wasted taxpayer funds with $360,000 in renovations in his office, including a nearly $32,000 couch and a medallion floor design that cost more than $7,000.
Article eight focuses on Walker and claims she spent more than $131,000 for renovations in her office, a space that had been renovated less than seven years before. The work included $27,000 in office furnishings and wallpaper.
Walker is the focus of article nine that alleges she hired outside help to assist in writing an opinion.
Article 10 focuses on Davis and relates to the more than $500,000 that was spent on Davis’ office renovations, including $20,000 on a rug, a desk chair that cost $8,000 and design services totaling $23,000.
Davis also is included in Article 11 that claims she signed forms approving the overpayment of senior status judges over the maximum amount allowed by state code.
Article 12 deals with Workman’s office renovations, saying she wasted taxpayers’ money with $111,000 in work that included an expensive cherry floor.
Workman is the focus of article 13, which claims she directed the hiring of an information technology employee who was not necessary at a salary of $160,000.
Finally, article 14 deals with Workman, alleging that she signed forms that overpaid senior status judges above the maximum limit allowed by state law.