Del. Pushkin Calls for Resolution to Investigate Supreme Court Chief Justice

Jan 11, 2018

Updated: Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 3:48 p.m.

 

A member of the House of Delegates has pledged to introduce a resolution to determine whether impeachment proceedings against state Supreme Court Chief Justice Allen Loughry are appropriate.

Democrat Delegate Mike Pushkin called for the resolution during a floor session Thursday. It follows a string of reports on what he called “irresponsible spending” by the West Virginia Supreme Court, as well as the discovery of the “Cass Gilbert” desk in Loughry’s home office.

The resolution would call for the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the matter.

Chief Justice Allen Loughry.
Credit West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

“He has taken no responsibility, no accountability for what's gone under his watch and in his office and in his home while he has been Chief Justice of the Supreme Court," Pushkin said.

 

"So, I believe it's our constitutional responsibility as an equal branch of government to be that check against the irresponsible activities going on under this court.”

Pushkin said he had three co-sponsors on the resolution by Thursday afternoon -- all Democrats -- and expects more to sign on. House Republicans have yet to comment on whether they would support the resolution.

 

Legislative auditor's announced this week they plan to audit the Supreme Court. The announced plans of an audit follow reports from late 2017 of the court spending more than $3.7 million to renovate and redecorate justices' Capitol offices.

Republican leadership in the House and Senate have discussed offering a resolution to bring the Supreme Court’s budget under the Legislature’s review. Current law keeps the Supreme Court’s budget independent of the legislative branch. With that in mind, Pushkin said he sees no reason why Republicans would not support his proposed resolution.

A request for comment from the Supreme Court was acknowledged but not answered.

 

The Supreme Court is slated to give a budget presentation to the House Finance Committee at 9 a.m. Friday and to the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, January 18 at 3 p.m.