ELKINS, W.Va. — The state Judicial Investigation Commission is looking into the conduct of a Randolph County circuit judge after she self-reported a relationship she’s had with a county employee.

State Supreme Court Administrator Steve Canterbury confirmed Thursday the JIC is exploring the relationship between Circuit Judge Jaymie Wilfong and North Central Community Corrections Director Travis Carter.

Canterbury said Judge Wilfong self-reported the personal connection. Three other complaints have also been filed. Carter is currently on suspended leave with pay from the Randolph County Commission.

Canterbury said Wilfong is a well-respected judge and he’s heard nothing of any wrongdoing from the bench but the JIC will check it out.

“I suspect what is of the most interest will be whether or not she comported herself in some unethical manner from the bench or her position,” Canterbury said. “The question is because of his (Carter’s) occupation, his profession, was she somehow acting unethically by having a relationship with him?”

Judge Wilfong said in a prepared statement to the Inter-Mountain newspaper in Elkins that she self-reported the relationship “in an abundance of caution to avoid an appearance of impropriety. It is unfortunate when private matters become topics for public speculation, but I understand I am a public figure in this county.”

She added she’s sorry she has disappointed so many people. Wilfong and Carter are both married.

Canterbury told MetroNews the investigation commission may very well find nothing has happened from the bench and it’s a personal matter between Judge Wilfong and Carter.

Canterbury said there is one thing this isn’t.

“I think that anyone who would compare this to Mingo County is stretching for bad news. This is as different from day and night from what went on in Mingo County,” Canterbury said.

Former Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury was named in a federal information earlier this year. He allegedly pressured a former secretary to continue a relationship with him but when she refused, Thornsbury allegedly set up several schemes to have her husband arrested and indicted.

 

bubble graphic

18

bubble graphic

Comments

  • sal61

    what about the cases she has judged already?dont they deserve a day in court in front of a new judge?

  • SheDeservesIt

    This woman has to be the worst example of a public official in Randolph Countys history...She lets some criminals off with a slap, others for minute offenses she throws the book at. She also ONLY self reported to her buddy reporter at the Elkins-Intermountain after 5 other inquiries into the matter were going through the appropriate channels.

    She then makes the claim that this is a personal matter and its a shame its become a public spectacle.... BAHAHAHAH I think it's hilarious because she would sit up at her bench and make horrible accusations and judgments toward other people for doing THE EXACT SAME THING SHE DID.. hahahahaha Guess she will learn what its like to have your personal business blasted all over the news.

    Just waiting patiently till the day when we can ship her out of here.

  • hypocrisy

    The sad thing about Supreme Court administrator Steve Canterbury is that he is blinded by his allegiance to protecting judges, since he works with them all the time. He can't see the obvious ethical problems with the relationship at issue. He needs to step aside for the better of the Court system.

  • Watching

    What people aren't getting here, is the fact that in her statement, she would have you to believe the complaints were filed because she self reported. Nothing could be farther from the truth. She was tipped off that the complaints were going to be filed. So to look like she was ethical, she self reported first. I will tell you, this did not come up because it is a personal matter. There is a very big professional connection to this, and that is why the complaints were filed. I would say there will be a ton of law suits filed over this.
    The sad part is, in her statement, there was no remorse for the damage she has done to Mr. Carters family, by naming him publicly. No class, Big EGO !
    Be careful who's toes you crush on your climb to the top, Judge Wilfong. You can guess the rest.....

  • liberty4all

    Agree with comments thus far, just wanted to add that if memory serves, didn't she unseat the former judge in an election where she campaigned on allegations of impropriety (of which no wrongdoing was ever found)? Oh the hypocrisy.

  • wvualum99

    Agree with you Joe. Carter's wife is a really nice person, a hard worker, and she's smokin' hot. They also have young children. Those are the ones I feel sorry for. Don't understand what he was thinking since the judge prolly goes 300lbs plus/minus. I don't have any sympathy for her husband, though, he's as big of a piece of trash as she is, literally and figuratively.

    • john

      Maybe there's more to this story than whats being told, sounds to me like someone has a personal vendatta against Mr. Carter.

      • wvualum99

        john

        There has been rumors of Wilfong and Carter going around for a while. It finally surfaced as a result of Carter being suspended from his duties this week. Rumors are that the judge isn't the only one involved with Carter's problems. If anyone does have a vendetta against him, it's probably for good reason.

        • john

          wvualum99, was you on his program, sounds like you have an axe to grind, if so do it to his face!!!!

          • wvualum99

            john

            no member of his program, and no axe to grind. known him for a long time. Personally I got no issues with him, but I do know how he is.

  • Joe

    Way to humiliate and betray your families you two.

    I bet looking in the mirror now is alot of fun.

    Funny, I saw no apology from either of them quoted in the article.

  • your victim

    Just sick . I can't imagine someone taking the plunge with her to start with disgrace

  • kathy

    if you are any kind of a person adultery is not unethical or imoral is totally wrong even with the Cannon stating that she is to be above reproach in both her seating as a judge or her personal life for all things, come on read the cannons all the way through on this. She is a pillar of the community, a judge and should be held accountable.

    • kathy

      http://www.courtswv.gov/legal-community/court-rules/judicial-conduct/judicial-conduct.html

  • Will

    So she is having an extramarital affair with the director of corrections program connected directly to sentencing that happens in her courtroom? I would assume her bench decisions directly and/or indirectly affect funding and other aspects of the community corrections program. And Canterbury has any question regarding unethical behavior? Wow. It's a personal matter if she is having an affair with her gardner.

    • your victim

      Exactly

    • Bix

      Will,

      Canterbury was just speculating about what the investigations people might be looking at. He didn't say one way or the other about whether Wilfog broke ethics.

      And since other judges have open, well-known, acknowledged personal relationships with friends in other high places, there are ways to build an ethical wall insolating both parties.

      Don't know if that's the case here and Canterbury was saying he didn't either. He was just reporting what investigators will be looking for. That's why there's an investigative process, to figure all of this out rationally, not emotionally.