CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Senate President Mitch Carmichael says he agrees with House Finance Committee Chairman Eric Nelson–Gov. Jim Justice needs to spend more time at the state capitol.
Both lawmakers were guests Monday on MetroNews “Talkline.”
Nelson, R-Kanawha, wrote an op-ed piece last Friday on the topic.
“It’s unclear who is in charge these days,” Nelson wrote. “This is not the way to run a state.”
“I agree with Eric,” Carmichael, R-Jackson, said on “Talkline.” “You can look at the results here and various different things that are being uncovered in terms of mismanagement of the executive branch.”
Nelson has said he’s “deeply disturbed” about things he’s heard coming out of the administration.
Carmichael said he wants Justice to be successful as do others. He said being at the capitol on a more consistent basis would be a good start.
“Can he be actively engaged in other avenues, in other venues, in other locations? Certainly. But I think there is an opportunity that is missed when there’s not an on-site dialogue between the governor, the chief executive, any executive, and the people that are reporting to him,” Carmichael said.
Justice has said over and over again that he doesn’t need to be waited on at the Governor’s Mansion and that he doesn’t have to be at the capitol to be on top of things. Justice has previously said nothing gets by him.
Del. Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, filed a lawsuit last week in Kanawha County Circuit Court requesting a circuit judge require Justice to abide by the state Constitution and have his residence in the seat of government.
Last Friday on MetroNews “Talkline,” Justice administration General Counsel Brian Abraham brushed aside the legal argument, saying Justice had put furniture in the Governor’s Mansion.
“He has his belongings in there. He has it available to him when he needs it. And the fact of the matter is the governor is always out traveling around the state, going to events, attending meetings. He prefers to manage that way, rather than just sitting here, as he says, signing autographs on pictures and meeting with lobbyists,” Abraham said.