by Ron Gregory
CHARLESTON — State Democratic Party Chair Belinda Biafore has called on state officials to demand the resignation of Supreme Court Chief Justice Allen Loughry.
“Justice Loughry has lied to the people of West Virginia over and over again. As a State Supreme Court Justice, Loughry should be held to a much higher standard,” Biafore said. “Governor Jim Justice, Senate President Mitch Carmichael and the rest of leadership should call on him to resign. The integrity of the West Virginia Supreme Court should never be called into question and when it is there are some serious problems. The people of West Virginia deserve to see this resolved.”
Loughry was charged yesterday with 32 violations of the judicial code of conduct. His fate will be determined by a special supreme court panel since the four other sitting justices recused themselves from the matter.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit was selected to serve as chief justice for the case and has been charged with selecting the four other acting justices who will preside with her.
A source close to the court has said Tabit is looking for respected attorneys from diverse locations around the state.
Loughry was at the heart of lengthy investigative reporting by WCHS-TV’s Kennie Bass about what appeared to be excessive spending on remodeling his office. He also allegedly moved supreme court furnishings from the capitol to his home and then back to a court warehouse when the location of the furnishings became public.
A motion to suspend Loughry from the court is also pending. He has 30 days to respond to the charges against him.