By Dave Wilson
MORGANTOWN — Despite her abrupt retirement from the West Virginia Supreme Court, Sen. Bob Beach, D-Monongalia, believes articles of impeachment against former Justice Robin Davis need to be pursued in an effort to find answers to looming questions.
On Tuesday, senators rejected a motion to dismiss the articles involving Davis on a 15-19 vote. Beach was among the senators to reject the motion and allow proceedings to continue.
“I was one of those ones who went into and thought. ‘Yeah, we’ll go ahead and do this.’ But then the conversations on the floor started and it raised a couple of issues for many of us that, ‘Hey, maybe we haven’t really thought this through,’ ” Beach explained Wednesday on WAJR’s Morgantown AM.
One of those issues was the possibility that Davis could be considered a senior status judge, eligible to serve on open benches around the state.
“If she has retired, then what purpose did her retirement serve if she can still serve on the bench? If she is guilty of something or not guilty of something, in order for us to determine whether she can be on the bench in the future, we need to go through the process. That’s my personal opinion,” Beach said.
Beach also agreed with the decision to move forward with proceedings for Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justice Beth Walker. House Judiciary Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer, offered a possible resolution.
Under what Shott described, impeachment articles would be dismissed for Walker and Workman, who face the fewest accusations. Instead, they would accept censure and steer the court toward greater responsibility.
“That so-called agreement was one that was discussed between attorneys in the House and Senate and legislative members were not really part of that agreement,” Beach said.
Senators of both parties said there was no political consensus about the deal.
Impeachment trials are scheduled to begin Oct. 1.