By Dave Wilson
MORGANTOWN — Republican State Senate candidate Mike Oliverio hopes trust can be restored in the West Virginia State Supreme Court once the state senate concludes the impeachment trials of the four current, suspended and retired justices.
“Each and everyone of those members of the court has to be held accountable for their actions,” Oliverio said Thursday on WAJR’s Morgantown AM.
Oliverio is challenging incumbent Bob Beach, Monongalia-D, in the Senate’s 13th district.
“The excesses that occurred by the court, are unforgivable,” Oliverio said. “Over half of the voters in West Virginia have lost complete confidence in the supreme court of the state. So, you have to restore that confidence.”
A recent WVMetronews/The Dominion Post poll indicated 21 percent of West Virginians had no confidence at all in the court, and 34 percent said they have “very little” trust in the court. Only four percent expressed “a great deal” of trust in the court.
Oliverio believes restoring trust in the court involves pursing the articles of impeachment against retired Justice Robin Davis.
“To simply resign, step out the door, take the pension and set up yourself to potentially be able to run for the office again in two years, to be able to be called in by other members of the court next week, next month, next year, to sit on the court would probably be a mistake,” Oliverio said.
Senators rejected a motion Tuesday that would have dismissed the articles of impeachment against Davis on a 19-15 vote. Sen. Beach was among the votes to allow impeachment proceedings against Davis to continue.
“Clearly, something had to be done, and I think what has been done so far has been done in a fairly professional manner,” Oliverio said.
Impeachment trials are scheduled to begin Oct. 1 and will likely continue through November.