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Introduced Version Senate Resolution 44 History

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SENATE RESOLUTION 44

(By Senator Ojeda)

[Introduced February 16, 2018]

 

Urging the House of Delegates to begin an investigation into potential impeachable offenses by Chief Justice Allen Loughry.

Whereas, Section nine, article IV, of the West Virginia Constitution grants to the House of Delegates the sole power of impeachment; and

Whereas, Section nine, article IV of the West Virginia Constitution authorizes impeachment of any officer of the state for maladministration, corruption, incompetency, gross immorality, neglect of duty, or any high crime or misdemeanor; and

Whereas, Section 51, article VI of the West Virginia Constitution prohibits the Legislature from making any adjustments to the budget for the Judiciary; and

Whereas, The people of West Virginia through the West Virginia Constitution placed trust in the Judiciary to act autonomously and be stewards of public tax dollars by controlling its own budget; and

Whereas, Section three, article VII, section three of the West Virginia Constitution states that the chief justice shall be the administrative head of all courts and that the administrative director of the courts shall prepare and submit a budget for the court under the direction of the chief justice; and

Whereas, Chief Justice Allen Loughry oversaw the spending of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer’s dollars on office renovations at a time when the state was in a budget crisis; and

Whereas, Chief Justice Allen Loughry asserted through media interviews that he had little if any involvement with the decisions related to the office renovations; and

Whereas, Chief Justice Allen Loughry’s own emails and hand-drawn images recently released by the media through a Freedom of Information Act request show that he was intimately involved with the design and had full knowledge of the expenses associated with the renovation of his office; and

Whereas, Some of the expenses approved by Chief Justice Loughry included $32,000 for a couch and custom-made flooring with each county of West Virginia set out in a different type of wood and Loughry’s home county set out in blue granite; and

Whereas, There is ample evidence to believe that an investigation into the conduct of Chief Justice Loughry is necessary to determine whether Chief Justice Loughry committed maladministration or neglect of duty in his oversight of the spending at the Supreme Court; and

Whereas, An investigation by the House of Delegates could potentially lead to evidence that Chief Justice Loughry committed another impeachable offense set forth in section nine, article IV of the West Virginia Constitution; therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate:

That the Senate hereby urges the House of Delegates to begin an investigation into potential impeachable offenses by Chief Justice Allen Loughry; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the Senate hereby urges the House of Delegates to act swiftly upon any credible evidence that Chief Justice Loughry committed an impeachable offense by beginning impeachment proceedings upon a finding of any credible evidence of maladministration, corruption, incompetency, gross immorality, neglect of duty, or any high crime or misdemeanor; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the Clerk is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Speaker of the House, the House Majority Leader, the House Minority Leader, the House Judiciary Committee Chair, and the House Finance Committee Chair.

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