- Associated Press - Friday, October 12, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A federal jury convicted a suspended West Virginia Supreme Court justice on Friday of 11 of the 22 charges he faced at his criminal trial.

Suspended Justice Allen Loughry was found guilty of seven of 17 wire fraud charges accusing him of using state cars and fuel cards for his own use. He was also found guilty of two counts of making false statements and one count each of mail fraud and witness tampering.

The jury found him not guilty of 10 charges and deadlocked on one wire fraud charge. Sentencing is Jan. 16.

“This is neither a great day nor a sad day, but an important day to the people of West Virginia,” U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said after the verdict was read.

Stuart declined to address the possible prison time Loughry faces, saying he’ll leave it up to the judge.

Loughry and his attorney declined comment to reporters as they left the courthouse.

Jurors had been deliberating since Wednesday in the trial in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

Loughry, 48, was replaced as chief justice in February and was suspended from his seat earlier this year.

The state House of Delegates impeached Loughry and three other justices in August over questions involving lavish office renovations that evolved into accusations of corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty. Loughry still faces an impeachment trial before the state Senate next month.

Justice Beth Walker was cleared of an impeachment charge last week.

A fifth justice, Menis Ketchum, resigned before impeachment proceedings began.

In August, Ketchum pleaded guilty to a felony count of fraud related to his personal use of a state vehicle and gas fuel card related to a 2014 golf trip to Virginia. Ketchum faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced Dec. 6.

Stuart said most public officials do their jobs the way they’re sworn to do, “but when they don’t, we’re going to hold them accountable.”

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