CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice scoffed Tuesday at the continuation of a lawsuit in Kanawha County Circuit Court that challenges his decision not to live in Charleston.
Del. Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, claims Justice is violating the state Constitution because his residence is not in the seat of government. Another court hearing is set for Wednesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court.
When asked about the lawsuit by reporters Tuesday, Justice indicated he stays at the mansion when it’s his best option.
“From time to time, if it’s convenient, I surely stay here and everything,” Justice said. “But I’m all over the state all the time. If it’s not convenient and I can stay in my own bed, I want to stay in my own bed.”
Justice’s attorneys are trying to get the lawsuit kicked up to the state Supreme Court. They’ll ask Kanawha County Circuit Judge Charles King Wednesday to certify five questions to the High Court. Sponaugle said the Court has already weighed in on the case when justices refused to take up his appeal after his initial filing several months ago.
Justice called the lawsuit “a total waste of time.”
“I’m down here non-stop having meeting, after meeting, after meeting and using the mansion for a lot of those meetings and everything, a lot of luncheons and a lot stuff to promote jobs,” he said.
Justice also called the lawsuit a “a politically stunt” by Sponaugle. His comments then got personal.
“He’s done nothing for his area. I mean, tell me a bill that that man’s done. It’s a political nothing and that’s the problem,” Justice said.
For his part, Sponaugle referred to a political cartoon that appeared in the Virginia-based Daily Record newspaper last week. Sponaugle also included the hashtag #DeadBeatJim
DNR Cartoon Aug. 15 https://t.co/Z6FeREDKQ6
— Isaac Sponaugle (@isaacsponaugle) August 20, 2019
Wednesday’s court hearing is set to start at 11 a.m.