CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A leading trial lawyer in West Virginia says state Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry should resign.
“Any time that situations like this come about I think the honorable thing to do for a public official is to resign and save the state from having to go through a forcible removal,” West Virginia Association for Justice President Steve New said on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
The state Judicial Investigation Commission has charged Loughry with 32 violations of the Judicial Code of Ethics in connection with his stated level of involvement with expensive renovations at the Supreme Court, his personal use of state-owned furniture and property and his alleged failure to initially tell the rest of the Court about a federal subpoena that was served on the Court last year. The JIC alleges Loughry repeatedly lied.
New said he speaks for himself and his organization in calling for the resignation.
New said Loughry has a history of being super critical of other attorneys who have experienced some problems. New said Loughry has “raked them over the coals.”
“Justice Loughry has been brutal on those lawyers and he very well may get a taste of his own medicine at this point,” New said, adding some of that criticism was coming at the same time the JIC report said Loughry was committing unethical acts that bring dishonor on the legal profession.
New said it’s hypocritical on Loughry’s part to be hard on other attorneys while at the same time choosing not to respond to the JIC investigation.
Kanawha County Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit, who was appointed Wednesday to be the temporary chief justice of the Court on the motion from the state Judicial Disciplinary Counsel to immediately suspend Loughry without pay, appointed four our judges Thursday to join her on the bench to hear the motion.
Tabit appointed Raleigh County Circuit Judge Robert Burnside, Greenbrier County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dent, Monongalia County Circuit Judge Russell Clawges and Senior Status, former Greenbrier County judge, Judge Jim Rowe.
A hearing date on the motion has not been announced.