Government, News

House case managers discuss possible redo on impeachment

CHARLESTON — The House of Delegates may head back into special session to once again consider impeachment against some members of the state Supreme Court.

The managers of the House impeachment case met Friday and according to Del. Rodney Miller, D-Boone, a number of options were discussed.

“Where do we go from here? What kind of possibilities are available to us?” Miller said were among the questions asked and discussed.

A fill-in Supreme Court issued an order Thursday essentially saying its previous order throwing out the impeachment case of Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman also applied in the cases of retired Justice Robin Davis and convicted Justice Allen Loughry. Davis’ impeachment trial before the state Senate was originally scheduled to begin Monday.

Miller said he favors a special session to impeach Loughry again following his conviction two weeks ago on 11 federal criminal counts.

“We have a justice that’s still on the rolls that’s been convicted of federal felonies. It appears we should take action on that,” Miller said. “I believe that takes us to a different level, puts us in a different scenario where we should be doing something.”

Miller predicted a special session on Loughry wouldn’t last long.

“We should be able to take care of that rather quickly, if we get the ability to do that,” he said. “Then we’d send it over to the Senate and I would think they would act as quickly.”

A special session would either have to be called by Gov. Jim Justice or a super majority would be needed for the House to call itself back into session. Justice said earlier this week he trusted the House and Senate to do the right thing with impeachment moving forward. Justice said it seemed the right thing for Loughry to do would be to resign. Miller agreed and said such a move would change his mind about a repeat impeachment.

“That would take it out of the hands of the impeachment process because it’s difficult to remove someone from office who isn’t there. That would be the right thing for the state of West Virginia,” Miller said.

Miller said there was no decision made in the meeting of the managers Friday. He said that decision would be up to the House leadership.

The acting Supreme Court earlier this month blocked Workman’s impeachment trial on constitutional and procedural grounds.

An aspect of the ruling suggested the House of Delegates had not gone through proper procedures for the impeachment process by not including findings of fact in the articles and failing to pass a full resolution adopting the articles.