CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A U.S. marshal has been authorized to collect a judgment of more than $1 million owed by companies owned by Gov. Jim Justice and his family.
The collection extends to several banks holding funds for Justice’s companies.
The U.S. marshal for Southern West Virginia has been tasked with collecting $1,022,380.01 from James. C. Justice Companies, Southern Coal Corporation and Kentucky Fuel Corporation.
It’s the latest action on nagging debt issues for the governor and his private businesses.
West Virginia Public Broadcasting asked Governor Justice about the $1 million debt today during an appearance in Parkersburg.
““I don’t know a thing in the world about it,” Justice responded. “I really don’t.”
The writ of execution was issued Wednesday from U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
It stems from a federal court judgment in favor of WestRock CP LLC, which was in a dispute with Justice’s companies over default on a supply agreement for coal to power a Florida paper mill.
Originally, the companies settled, but WestRock reopened the case, claiming Southern Coal had stopped making payments on the settlement.
The judgment was registered July 10 with U.S. District Court in Charleston, which is now attempting to collect.
The collection extends to banks that are holding money or property belonging to Justice’s companies.
So the U.S. marshal may be collecting the judgment from business checking accounts, savings accounts, savings certificates, certificates of deposits, money market funds or property of other types.
The banks include Premier Bank of Huntington, United Bank of Parkersburg and City National Bank of Cross Lanes.
Representatives of the banks are to respond to a summons about the collection. The banks have been notified that there might be exemptions to relieve them of the obligation to pay on the judgment.
The case was considered originally in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division. The court entered a ruling last March.