CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The Latest on the impeachment trial of West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Beth Walker and jury selection for the federal trial of suspended Justice Allen Loughry (all times local):
A federal jury has been selected for the criminal trial of West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry.
The jury of 10 women and two men was chosen Tuesday. They’ll listen to opening arguments Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston.
A 25-count indictment includes allegations that Loughry repeatedly lied about using his office for personal gain. He’s also charged with making personal use of a state vehicle and credit card, and of trying to influence an employee’s testimony and a federal grand jury investigation. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier.
The indictment accuses him of “creating a false narrative” about an antique desk and leather couch he had transferred from the Supreme Court offices to his home, and that he repeated the false narrative to an FBI special agent during a March interview.
West Virginia senators have voted to allow impeached state Supreme Court Justice Beth Walker to remain in office.
The 32-1 vote Tuesday followed a two-day impeachment trial. A two-thirds majority was required to remove Walker, whose 12-year term expires in 2028.
Walker was accused of abusing her authority. The charge stated that Walker and other justices failed to control office expenses and maintain policies over matters such as working lunches and the use of state vehicles and office computers at home.
The vote came on the same day jury selection began in the federal trial of suspended Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry. A 25-count indictment includes allegations that Loughry repeatedly lied about using his office for personal gain.
The House of Delegates in August impeached Loughry, Walker and justices Margaret Workman and Robin Davis.
The West Virginia Senate has started pondering the fate of impeached Supreme Court Justice Beth Walker.
Closing arguments were held Tuesday in Walker’s impeachment trial before senators voted to go into a closed session to begin deliberations.
A two-thirds majority of the 34-member Senate is required to remove Walker from office.
Walker is accused of abuse of authority, a charge also levied against three other impeached justices. It states they failed to control office expenses and maintain policies over matters such as working lunches and the use of state vehicles and office computers at home.
House judiciary committee chairman John Shott served as the lead prosecutor in Walker’s Senate trial. He urged senators to sustain the impeachment article if they doubt that keeping her on the bench will help restore the public’s trust and confidence in the judicial branch of government.
The federal trial of a suspended West Virginia Supreme Court justice is starting a day after a colleague’s impeachment trial began in the state Senate.
Jury selection is set to get under way Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston for Justice Allen Loughry. He also has a Senate impeachment trial scheduled in November.
The 25-count federal indictment includes allegations that Loughry repeatedly lied about using his office for personal gain.
The House of Delegates in August impeached him and justices Beth Walker, Margaret Workman and Robin Davis. The cases targeted spending, including lavish office renovations, and also raised questions about corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty earlier this decade.
Walker’s impeachment trial in the Senate started Monday and is set to resume Tuesday.
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