Randolph County Circuit Court Judge Jaymie Wilfong made a terrible mistake, and she admits it.

The first-term judge had a two-year affair between 2011 and 2013 with Travis Carter, while Carter served as Director of the North Central Community Corrections (NCCC).  That agency worked with the judge to decide which defendants should be candidates for alternative sentencing.

Both Wilfong and Carter were married, and they carried on their affair quietly, although at least one local attorney contends there was “wide-ranging community knowledge of the relationship.”

The relationship included sexual liaisons between the two in Judge Wilfong’s courthouse office and at the home of an assistant prosecuting attorney.  Wilfong also sent sexually explicit emails, texts, instant messages and nude pictures of herself to Carter.

The affair raises serious conflict of interest concerns.  The Judicial Investigation Commission report says Carter and/or his subordinate staff from NCCC appeared before Judge Wilfong in approximately 46 criminal matters where the judge had to decide whether defendants had violated the terms of their placement in the community corrections program.

There is also evidence that Wilfong continued the relationship with Carter even after state Supreme Court Administrator Steve Canterbury raised concerns about the ethical implications.  Wilfong contends in her response to the report that the sex stopped after Canterbury’s warning.

Before we sew the scarlet “A” on Wilfong’s robe, it’s important to note a couple of points.

To her credit, the Judge self-reported the affair and the possible conflicts of interest last year to the Judicial Investigation Commission.  In her response to the Commission, Wilfong said, “I take full and complete responsibility” for the affair.

It was a consensual affair. The judge did not use the power of her position to force herself on a subordinate.

Wilfong has been, by all accounts, a hard-working judge who has been active in the community. She has overseen the implementation of adult and juvenile drug courts and broken down barriers to the judiciary by visiting every school in the county.

The judge also admits that “the judicial process and its integrity have been negatively impacted.”  However she adds that she never let the affair interfere with her work.

Wilfong is a sympathetic figure.  She’s human, she made a mistake, and now she’s owning it.  The problem, however, is that Wilfong is a judge, the only one in the 20th circuit covering Randolph County.

Wilfong was elected in 2008 because, among other things, the voters trusted in her judgment, and now she has exhibited what can only be described as extremely poor judgment.  How can those who come before Judge Wilfong now have confidence in her sagacity?

The state’s Code of Judicial Conduct says that a judge must “uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary” and “avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.”   Sadly, Wilfong has failed to do so.

The matter is now pending before the Judicial Hearing Board.  It will decide what penalty, if any, to recommend to the state Supreme Court.  They range from a mild rebuke to the suspension of her law license.

In the meantime, she has a duty to do the right thing for the people of Randolph County.  Resign and avoid any more embarrassment and to protect the integrity of the judiciary.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • John

    This adds a whole new meaning to "Order in the Court Room, Here COMES the judge" (between proceedings, anyway).....

  • rick

    Integrity of the judiciary. We are quick to get rid of people for what some call hot blooded sins...but very slow to condemn the cold blooded calulating ones.

  • Navin Johnson

    The only other public official SEX IN THE COURTHOUSE case in the state that is even remotely close to this is due south of Randolph County.
    Pocahontas County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney J.L. Clifton is also facing investigation from the WV Bar Office of Disciplinary Counsel for TRADING SEXUAL FAVORS with victims, defendants, etc IN THE COURTHOUSE.


    Like Judge Wilfong, Clifton faces sanctions that include the possible loss of his law license. A public hearing is set for August.

  • Josh

    A judge that shows insanely poor judgement - see nothing wrong with her being in a position to judge people...

  • john

    hoppy use the a-word will he be fined by the fcc, what will the amount befrom then.

  • john

    Could kept it in his pants.Two marriage down the dain.Guitly,What the sentence for poke a judge.

  • Fact Checker

    Hoppy, you are a fool!
    She only self-reported AFTER others told her they would report her if she didn't herself.
    She was caught.
    To try to minimize the damage, she "self-reported."

  • Billy

    This gives new meaning to the phrase here comes da judge

  • DP

    Relative to the JERK accusing Hoppy of being a racist on the radio this morning, a few thoughts. I seldom have a chance to listen to this program, but when I do I find it genuinely enjoyable. I don't agree with Hoppy on everything (I'm more conservative than he is) as Hoppy is about as moderate as they come. This morning, on the car radio, I caught the 2nd hour of his program and listened while this JERK attempted to play the race card on Hoppy. Sadly, this is all the Far Left Wackos have when anyone disagrees with Obummer!

    How Hoppy puts up with some of his crazed and critical callers, guests and posters on this site, I'll never know! I would bet the JERK who called in this morning NEVER posts on this site as he undoubtedly can neither read or write!

    I have no idea where this call-in JERK is from, but I will say with certainty he is from a village somewhere. Why am I so certain of this? Because wherever he is from, he obviously is the VILLAGE IDIOT!!!

  • Shadow

    A pure case of cowardice and greed. If they were in "love", cease and desist both marriages. You can't have it both ways. Divorces are costly and messy but you avoid situations like this.

  • Aaron

    I heard your interaction with the guy from Spring Hill Hoppy. Post the video So those of us who missed the feed can watch you get riled up.

    • Silas Lynch

      LOL!! I heard that and was somewhat happy with Hoppy!! Now, if we could just get Hoppy to show a little of that moxy when dealing with Howard Monroe istead of "agreeing to disagree" with him...

      • Jethro

        Hop could use that moxy with Manchin and Capito instead of the softball , I'm with royalty attitude.

    • Evan

      One of those unfortunates in Parkersburg here... couldn't stream Talkline today because the local WiFi was down, and my employer frowns on data-streaming.

      What got Hop so riled up???

      • Aaron

        Some A**hole (Hoppy's word, not mine) called in and accused Hoppy of blaming the economy on Obama because he's "black." Hoppy, rightfully so, took it to the jacka** and had him stammering trying to explain his pulling out the race card.

        I wanted to cheer as I've heard it a thousand times. When someone points out the Presidents record and the other person cannot defend the record was the case today, they blame the accuser of being a racist. To his credit, Hoppy stood firm, even after the break as he took the individual to task for his false accusations.

        I heard the emotion in Hoppy's voice but I would love to see the stream.

        • Evan

          Aaron - thanks for the run-down on the exchange between Hoppy and that caller.

          It's a BEAUTIFUL day in Parkersburg, and the WiFi is working! Heard the replay today on Talkline. (That. Was. Priceless.)

          I liked Hoppy immensely before, but he gets a couple more brownie points for effectively calling a spade a spade.

        • Aaron

          If I'm not mistaken, isn't the President the individual who ran on reaching across the aisle Hop? Isn't he the one that said he would work with both parties to move the country forward and then within what seemed like minutes of taking the oath, started his "we won the campaign" act before embarking on a world apology tour?

          As to Congress, didn't each member of the House win elections based on their fiscal policies? If you don't believe the President should compromise on his values, why do you think duly elected members of Congress should?

          As to austerity, doesn't history teach us that it works despite what the international monetary fund advises?

          • Aaron

            We should bring our troops home. We do not need to be in 193 countries to defend the United States. We spend billions on national defense pumping out bombs, bullets, tanks, planes and ships and man bases all over the world not in the name of defense but in the name of economics. I would shut down most bases, eliminate most of the standing Army and direct that spending on infrastructure to meet 22nd century demands.

            As to Mellon, History proves that when his policies were followed, low taxes combined with Coolidge's frugal ways led to 7 years of balanced budgets. I don't think it's a coincidence that the Great Depression and high taxes ran hand in hand. Despite Hoover raising taxes to a top rate of 63%, which FDR later rose to 80% in 1935, revenues never escalated in the way they did when Coolidge cut taxes. Why do you suppose that is?

          • Hop'sHip

            That Hoover didn't completely follow the advice of Mellon proved that he had some concern for the human condition. But like Roosevelt after him he succumbed to those who argued the supremacy of deficit control. Much of our current infrastructure dates back to that time. Maybe it could use a little refreshing? If we can't afford to put people to work providing us with a modern infrastructure, would you agree we can no longer afford to spend ten times what any other country does on defense?

          • Aaron

            It's interesting that you cite Hoover for his reaction when the truth is, he acted more like a textbook Keynesian following the 1929 stock market crash by pushing through an across-the-board one percentage point reduction in income tax rates applicable to the 1929 tax year. Being the 'conservative' hell bent on human suffering, he didn’t stop with tax cuts to increase demand, he signed into law massive increases in the federal budget. By 1932 federal spending was 42% higher than 930 levels.

            He increased spending so much on programs liberals generally enjoy like public works projects, it's not called the Hoover Dam for nothing, and signed into law an Obama like-too big to fail bank bill that injected billions (this was the 1930's) into banks. The result was the the highest peace time budgets in American history, so high that FDR would campaign on balancing the budget and eliminating federal waste.

            You were saying about Hoover?

          • Aaron

            Perhaps you should go further back a decade to see how austerity works on a recession.

          • Hop'sHip

            Yarded? Should be "harder" I'll follow your lead and blame autocorrect.

          • Hop'sHip

            History teaches us that the time for government austerity is during boom times. Deep cuts in government spending in a slack economy will only dampen the economy further. Most who have studied the Great Depression, including Ben Bernanke, have concluded such. Of course the belief among many here appears to be that of Andrew Mellon who advised Herbert Hoover that great human suffering must occur (by other people) in order to purge the rottenness out of the system and force people to work yarded and live more moral lives.

        • Jethro

          The point was about Hoppy (as usual)sidestepping issues regarding the minimum wage increase that favor the worker.
          Hoppy is working class but takes a paycheck to be against the working class. Hop is merely one of many who are shamelessly making money for being against fellow citizens.

          • Hop'sHip

            Actually I just was listening to David Frum, a refreshingly candid spokesman on Republican politics. He would never claim that it was about the lost jobs. He probably would say it was about concern for increased labor costs and it's implication on ROI, but would probably admit that was is being discussed would be inconsequential in that regard and the Republicans would be wise to give in to get something they really care about in return, like a high-end tax cut.

          • The bookman

            It's called leadership and compromise, two qualities lacking in Washington on both sides of the aisle!

          • Hop'sHip

            Aaron: How can you place the blame of the current economy on Obama when nothing he has proposed for the last three years has made it through Congress? What would you have him do? Push the trickle-down policies that he ran against? Adopt austerity fiscal policies that even the IMF deems unwise in the current economic climate?

          • The bookman

            The market would reflect a demand for thermal coal if this administration would allow the markets to progress without their anti coal driven agenda regulating its demise. People clamor today about a $14 increase in their monthly bill. Just wait until NG continues it's upward progression in price and demand and becomes a bigger player in our energy equation. There is a cost of compliance with the anti fossil fuel agenda. Be careful what you wish for.

          • Aaron

            No, the point was that some whackjob falsely accused Hoppy of disagreeing with the President soley because he's black and Hoppy busted him for it.

            That is a damnable lie that far too many liberals resort to when they cannot explain away the Presidents inadequacies, just as the jacka** attempted to do today and Hoppy took the gentleman to task.

            As one of the millions who believes the President is failing miserably based solely on his atrocious performance and has nothing to do with the color of his skin and I found it refreshing that Hoppy called the gentleman for what he is, a race-baiter, pure and simple.

          • Jethro

            Oh yeah the rightwing million jobs lost meme if workers receive a living wage.
            "What the market will bear" is another rightwing meme that you boys love till it hits the sacred coal industry. Then yer tune changes.

          • The bookman

            Unless of course he is against an increase in the minimum wage in an effort to save a million jobs, the estimate of jobs that will be lost due to the proposed federal increase to over $10/hr. It truly is a matter of perspective. Is it better to pay $3/hour more and put 1 million people out of a job or allow the market to drive wages. I know with this current economy that is a gamble, but if it is your job that is lost, would you still be in favor?

    • Ditto

      Aaron

      I heard it on the radio but would love to see it. Come on Hoppy and post it. I don't believe I have ever heard you use that word before.

  • CBP

    I'm not trying to be cruel, but the fact that anyone would drill that, much less ruin 2 marriages, is almost unfathomable. I have to see this Carter dude.

    • The Truth

      Hey I'd drill that. Big curvy women are really grateful.

      When you get to be my age, you realize all women are something special :)

    • Rosie Agrees

      CBP

      I Googled Travis Carter but there wasn't anything mentioned or at least there was not a picture.See my earlier comment.

      • Brian

        You guys are only showing how superficial you are. There is nothing hotter than an intelligent woman!!!!

        • P1

          ....until you google images of that 'intelligent woman' and learn that she is a 300 pound wildebeast.

        • Silas Lynch

          Yes there is. ex: Janet Reno: intelligent. NOT HOT

          • The bookman

            +100

  • Independent View

    More Currupt and Unscrupulous Behavior
    FYI- When this situation first came to light, the Randolph County Commission immediately placed Mr. Carter on administrative leave, with pay. Following the investigation into Mr. Carter's involvement by a law firm from Pittsburgh, the results were presented to Mr. Carter and he immediately resigned.
    The question which begs an answer is, if the investigation of Mr. Carter included enough evidence of wrongdoing on his part that when presented with it, he immediately resigned then, obviously, the same evidence applied to the other half of this fiasco, Judge Wilfong yet, she remains on the bench? And, even worse than Mr. Carter's position, she is a sitting judge!
    Pathetic!!!!

    • P1

      more like a 'horizontal bop' judge.
      no matter how u slice it, her favorite position is "on the bench"!!!

    • Bill

      Independent View , Mr. Carter was cleared by the investigation but he opted to resign because of the hostile working conditions.

      • The bookman

        That's not entirely accurate, Bill.

        http://theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/566669/Carter-resigns-after-investigation.html?nav=5014

        Carter resigned due to his belief he could no longer be an effective leader of Community Corrections given the public's knowledge of his and Wilfong's misconduct. He voluntarily entered into a settlement agreement with Randolph County to release all parties from future action and bring the situation as it related to Carter and the County to closure. To say the investigation cleared Carter of criminal misconduct would be accurate. But I don't think it would be accurate to say he was absolved by the investigation.

        • Bill

          Sorry, I misread the article, I stand corrected.

  • Bill

    Come on Hoppy, she lied to the State Supreme Court, what makes you think she didn't use the "power of her position to force herself on a subordinate ? Also, she wasn't the first to self report to the ethics committee, she only reported after she learned of the other ethic complaints filed by the PA, and Mr Cooper.

  • leroy

    carter should claim sexual harassment , get a big payout and retire