Chris Schulz Published

Justice Discusses Business Debt, Project Financing And Babydog

Man seated behind a small table with a bulldog in a chair beside him.
Gov. Jim Justice with Babydog.
WV Governor's Office

A Virginia bank has moved to auction off the Greenbrier Sporting Club owned by the Justice family, but Gov. Jim Justice says it won’t happen. 

Carter Bank and Trust, one of the Justice family’s biggest lenders, is moving to auction off the Greenbrier Sporting Club to satisfy millions in debt. In a regular briefing Wednesday afternoon, Justice said he did not believe a sale would happen. 

“We want to protect the sporting club and all those members in every single way,” he said. “I want to tell you the track record through and through of exactly what’s happened. And I’ll be able to do it someday, but I can’t do it right now. All I would say is stay tuned. Watch what’s going to happen.”

In November, Justice and several of his companies, including the Greenbrier Resort, sued the Virginia-based bank for $1 billion. Justice said that at the time of the death of the bank’s founder, Worth Carter, in 2017, his companies owed the bank around $780 million but has paid down $480 million in the intervening years.

“I want Carter Bank to be paid off in full, but really and truly Carter Bank has got a real dilemma on your hand,” he said. “Because on one hand, we may very well owe Carter Bank $300 million. But on another hand, we feel like they owe us in excess of a billion, and so all this stuff is gonna come out.”

In a legal notice published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail Tuesday, Feb. 6, Carter Bank and Trust estimated the value of the Greenbrier Sporting Club to be $250 million.

Justice insisted his focus will continue to be on the duties of his office.

“My kids got it, they got it and they’re on it,” he said. “I’m way, way, way in the background, and there’s no way on earth that I’m going to take one second of focus off of what my job has been since day one. I put up with this nonsense the whole time I’ve been here and everything. But absolutely, there’s no way I’ve taken my eye off the ball.” 

The governor is not directly involved in the day-to-day operation of his family’s business dealings, which are overseen by his children. Earlier this month, two other creditors agreed to sell a helicopter to help settle a debt from another Justice-owned business.

Other Business

Earlier in the briefing, the governor announced funding for several programs as well as the success of several others. He began with broadband, announcing $33 million in Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD) Grants awarded to 10 projects by the West Virginia Broadband Investment Plan.

“These awards will enhance the broadband access in nine counties impacting 5,200 families and businesses together that previously lacked significant connectivity,” Justice said.

Justice also gave an update on Operation R.I.P. Potholes. Announced last week, the initiative aims to take advantage of recent clear weather to conduct road repairs.

“In that time, our DOH road crews have patched approximately 1,600 miles of roadway and laid down 1,250 tons of asphalt,” he said.

The governor also highlighted the recent graduation of 53 new West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation officers, as well as recognizing zero staff vacancies at the Southern Regional Jail in Raleigh County.

“This accomplishment is especially noteworthy considering the facility had a 30 percent vacancy rate in September of 2023,” Justice said.

The Southern Regional Jail has been a focal point for community activists calling for reforms following the indictment of six former correctional officers in the beating death of Quantez Burks and the death of an additional inmate. Addressing the staffing shortage across the state’s correctional system was a focal point of the governor’s State of State address this year when he proposed $21 million for the pay increases for correctional officers. 


At the end of the briefing, Justice gave Babydog’s, his pet bulldog, prediction for the upcoming Super Bowl Sunday. He also acknowledged Babydog will undergo two surgeries to address leg injuries and asked for prayers.

“She’s got some probably tough stuff ahead,” Justice said. “Only thing is a Bulldog getting put to sleep two different times on two fairly significant surgeries isn’t any fun. But we’re going to take care of that and hope and pray everything comes out great there.”

WVNS’ Jessica Farrish first reported that the governor mentioned the impending surgeries Monday during an event at Midland Trails High School. He previously mentioned Babydog’s injury to explain her absence from the announcement of LG Electronics’ investment in the state at the start of the year. At the time, Justice said Babydog was injured due to her weight after jumping down from a chair.

Babydog gained national attention as the mascot for the state’s vaccination efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.