President Trump often talks about “draining the swamp.” Well, for once, it appears that at least one state took him up on the advice. Last Monday, August 13, West Virginia lawmakers decided to shake things up and impeach the entire Court of Appeals, full-stop. Targets included Chief Justice Allen Loughry, acting Chief Justice Margaret Workman, as well as Justices Robin Davis and Elizabeth Walker.
• It appears the move to impeach the entire Court of Appeals stems from very specific transgressions. Both Davis and Walker stand accused of overpaying senior status judges on lower courts. Davis also blew $500,000 on “office renovations,” leaving many to question whether she siphoned funds.
• Allen Loughry was suspended this past June for “lying,” though it wasn’t immediately clear when or what it was he lied about. His suspension also alleges that he pilfered taxpayer money by using vehicles and gas cards to his advantage, and not in the line of work. Loughry was caught using work benefits during personal time, and to fill up his personal vehicle, many times.
• All four of the abovementioned justices were also specifically accused of neglecting their duties, including abuses of power and willfully allowing others to spend taxpayer money freely and without checks or balances. To put it another way, they were all in on it, and it appears none of them cared.
• A fifth Justice, Menis Ketchum, could not be impeached because the little worm stepped down last month in the light of the many accusations rolling out against the Court of Appeals. But that doesn’t mean he’s getting off scot-free; Menis is currently up on charges for defrauding the state.
• Loughry is also currently up on an entire second set of charges – a list of 22 different indictments, in fact. His crimes? Witness tampering. Fraud. Lying to the ‘Feds. Tampering with evidence. Basically, he was awful at his job and certainly didn’t meet the requirements for ethical, sound justice at any time.
• Davis has also officially stepped down, denying all charges and accusing her accusers of “partisan politics.” She called the impeachment moves “a disaster for the rule of law,” but it sure seems to be more of a disaster for money-hungry justices who can’t do their job without taking advantage of West Virginia’s taxpayer wallets.