Associated Press Published

West Virginia Judge Suspended for Code of Conduct Violations

The West Virginia Supreme Court chamber.

A West Virginia judge has been suspended for 45 days without pay for violations in two cases in which the defendants died.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled this week to suspend Kanawha County Magistrate Jack Pauley. The court also censured Pauley for violations of the Judicial Code of Conduct.

Pauley accepted the charges during a November hearing, saying he was trying to keep cases moving in the magistrate court system.

Pauley first was elected as a magistrate in 1992. His attorney, William Forbes, said in November that Pauley had never been hit with any rules violations prior to the charges.

Pauley was charged with signing a domestic violence protection order against 36-year-old Housein Bikir Keaton, even though it didn’t include all of the required information, on Aug. 25, 2016.

The commission said Pauley left his night shift early, and he didn’t sign an arrest warrant for Keaton. Keaton was no arrested, and he found dead of a gunshot wound the next day.

Pauley also was charged with improperly taking over Joshua Lee Miles’ case, which was assigned another magistrate. While the presiding magistrate was out of the office for medical reasons, Pauley signed an order to allow Miles to be released from jail on April 12.

Because of an error in faxing the order to South Central Regional Jail, 36-year-old Miles wasn’t released. He was found dead in his jail cell on April 13 of an apparent suicide.