Associated Press Published

Senate GOP Billed $21K in Suit That Threatened Majority


West Virginia Senate Republican leaders were billed almost $21,000 in state money for outside attorneys in a legal case that threatened their majority.

An invoice sent to GOP Senate President Bill Cole shows the upper chamber retained Flaherty, Sensabaugh and Bonasso, PLLC for about $20,700 for the case in January.

Former Wyoming County Sen. Daniel Hall won as a Democrat in 2012 and turned Republican after the 2014 elections, breaking a tie for an 18-16 GOP majority.

He resigned in January.

State Democrats argued West Virginia law is ambiguous about how to replace someone who flipped parties. They sued for clarification.

A Democratic appointment would’ve deadlocked the Senate.

The state Supreme Court ruled in the GOP’s favor. Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Republican replacement Sen. Sue Cline in January.