CHARLESTON – Sixth Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell of Cabell County temporarily will serve on the Supreme Court during the suspension of Justice Allen Loughry.
That appointment was announced late Thursday by Chief Justice Margaret Workman, who will be facing impeachment herself next week when the state House of Delegates considers the fates of the entire Supreme Court.
“Court employees have received many inquiries about whether the work of the court will continue as scheduled in the term that begins Sept. 5. It will. The Court calendar is set and the docket will proceed as usual,” Workman said. “Supreme Court justices are constitutionally required to keep the court open and will continue to fulfill their constitutional duties.”
Justice Menis Ketchum resigned and agreed to plead guilty to federal fraud based on his private use of state vehicles. The rest of the justices — Beth Walker, Robin Davis, Workman and Loughry —also face allegations they overspent on the renovations of their own offices.
The 47-year-old Loughry, suspended since June 8, faces 23 federal counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, lying to federal law enforcement, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
Farrell was appointed to the Sixth Circuit bench in February 2011 by then-Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, and subsequently was elected in 2012.
Born in Huntington, Farrell graduated from Xavier University in 1971 and spent three years in the U.S. Army before graduating from West Virginia University’s college of law in 1978.
He served stints as assistant attorney general for West Virginia, counsel for the state Senate president, administrative judge at the West Virginia Department of Employment Security, assistant prosecutor for Cabell County and assistant U.S. attorney.