CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state Judicial Hearing Board has come down hard on Randolph County Circuit Court Judge Jaymie Wilfong.  The board has recommended unanimously that Wilfong be suspended for three years without pay, fined $20,000 and be censured.

(Read Judicial Hearing Board recommendation here)

Judge Wilfong was charged earlier this year with two violations of the Judicial Code of Conduct in connection with an extramarital affair with Travis Carter who was the director of North Central Community Corrections at the time.

The board, in a recommendation released Friday, found Wilfong “demonstrated, over a two-year period, a fundamental lack of candor, judgment, integrity and fairness”  by carrying on the affair in her courthouse office and failing to disqualify herself in matters where her impartiality might be questioned.

One of the attorneys for Wilfong has argued that she should not lose her job because of an affair. Instead, Harry Deitzler said he thinks a reprimand for Wilfong from the state Supreme Court would be appropriate.

“I think that she should be treated fairly and reasonably,” Deitzler said Friday. “You don’t take law licenses and remove from the bench for that kind of thing.”

Deitzler said, even though Wilfong would consult with Carter and others in his office at times, the affair, which she self-reported, did not affect any cases.

“They’re saying, ‘Well, now she’s had this extramarital affair. We can’t trust her as a judge because she had bad judgment.’ That is so ridiculous,” Deitzler said. “She understands that the public had a perception that this was an impropriety, but there was never any effect on any case.”

The Judicial Hearing Board will next offer a recommendation to the state Supreme Court about a possible punishment for Wilfong. It’ll be up to the Supreme Court to make a final decision, though the Court cannot remove Wilfong from the bench. Only the Legislature can do that.

On Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline”, before the decision was handed down, Deitzler said such a suspension would be too much for what Wilfong did. “This lady had an affair and we’ve made her wear the scarlet letter for six, eight months,” he said.  “Haven’t we beat her up enough over this?”

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel and the judge have 30 days to file consent or objections to the hearing board’s recommendations. The final decision on discipline rests with the state Supreme Court.

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Comments

  • Warren

    How old is Judge Wilfong?

  • Too Bad

    The people of Randolph county knew this was going on. Years before it was turned in. That includes the local elected officials. Especially the county commission. This town protects it's elites. They ran everything in town.

  • Randolph Resident

    Some of you people are sick in the head. This clown just oral sex in the chambers of the courthouse. Plus involved the whole community. She is a judge not a common citizen. A person who can not kept their house in order. Sure can not kept their work in order. This women is a joke. If this was done at work. That individual would be fired on the spot.

  • Unseen

    What she deserves for her infractions, I can't say. But I live daily with seeing a lawyer and sometimes her cohorts doing far worse with no repercussions whatsoever. And the majority of the local who's who and member's of their churches view them as pillars of the community. An affair is wrong but shouldn't be a crime. Biased judgements are inherently wrong. And I don't know if she shouldn't have presided over certain cases, but I see lawyers violating the law on a regular basis and nothing is done about it. Maybe she just stepped on the toes of her brother/sister in arms too often.

  • Big Bill

    All she had to do was to step down, I actually think she likes the publicity.

    • Watching

      No truer words have ever been spoken.... She has always been about self promotion...

  • Amelia DeBias

    She ruled against my son having a jury trial after an industrial accident which left him a paraplegic with multiple health problemsat the age of 40 with a wife and child.She should never serve on the bench again.

  • northforkfisher

    The bad thing about this is, all of the criminals sentence during this affair can have their cases re heard at the expense of the tax payers. All they have to argue is that she was not fit to hand down rulings, especially if they were sent to her lovers community corrections. Having the affair does not make her a criminal, but not coming forward and dismissing her self when possible conflicts could arise, is what makes this all wrong. In the end, the taxpayer is the one who will pay the bills.

  • Bill

    Had this been a male judge he would have gotten a increase in pay, and told to be more careful the next time.

    • The bookman

      I disagree. If this had been a male Judge, with a dominant role over a subordinate member of the Justice system that was female, the repercussion and the media focus would have been more severe. Male on female sexual harassment is viewed as very negative. The concept of female on male dominance in the workplace is not considered the norm, and is dismissed as non disruptive and not likely. I don't suggest that it doesn't happen, just that it doesn't raise the concern of the masses.

      • Big Bill

        Bookman, "you're wise beyond your years", I totally agree.

  • Dumb Liberals

    It's not who you know, but who you B L O W. Maybe some of the ole codgers on the Judicial Hearing Board might want in on the action. Here come the judge .....

  • william

    Its great to know people in high places.
    You get some great benefits, and when you get in trouble they can make things just go away!

  • Mr.P

    Why just 3 years,how do they come up with that figure,I think she'd like a stiff one that's a lot longer,that's meaning suspension that is.

  • Jason412

    I read the other day she lobbied for a new work vehicle for him, despite his vehicle having something like 12k miles, and the County Commission actually gave it to him. I don't know if that says more about her or the Commission.

  • Medman

    I thought the Bill Clinton affair settled how matters of this type were to be decided. It was clearly argued that sex or however you describe what he was doing in the Oval Office had no affect or influence on his ability to be our President. How in the world can the legal system in WV now say it is wrong for a lowly judge in a remote rural county to have some fun and pleasure between all of those boring cases?

    • Independent View

      MEDMAN & BOHICA

      Please read my initial post appearing below because there is much more to this saga that just an affair.
      This is straight from the ethics board's legal investigation and readily available to the public.
      And to say Randolph County/Elkins area is a remote and rural area is doing the folks a huge disservice and underserved. Randolph County & Elkins is a vibrant area with hard working folks, a very low crime rate and wonderful way of life as compared to the Charleston/Huntington/Putnam County areas. If you wish to refer to WV counties as rural and remote, try Mingo, Logan, Wyoming McDowell.

    • The bookman

      Just because we got it wrong with Clinton doesn't mean we have to repeat it.

    • mntr bob

      Clinton's law license was suspended for a period of time for lying.

      • Randy

        This comment (if it clears) was held for moderation second.

        • Randy

          What? Did I use improper punctuation?

      • Randy

        This comment (if it clears) was held for moderation first.

  • bohica

    I agree with Harry in some ways, this story has received more press than most murder cases in WV and has been sensationalized by the press including Metro News, for what,"to sell papers". I am only saying no matter what they done, their families weren't involved and don't deserve the kind of scrutiny placed upon them by all of this reporting, people need to grow up. Lets start a newspaper just for affairs and see all the names that come up.
    One of the people involved stepped down already, the Judge should do the same!

  • navin r johnson, esquire

    golden rule #1 - do as I say, not as I do.

    golden rule #2- do unto others as the judge does in chambers.

    golden rule #3- those skilled in oral arguments get the best outcomes.

    • Medman

      esquire, Do your rules apply to the White House or a situation like Clinton?