CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Senate, serving as jurors in the Court of Impeachment, today voted 32-1 against sustaining the single Article of Impeachment against West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Elizabeth D. Walker.
Justice Walker was named in Article of Impeachment XIV, which alleges that “the Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals generally and collectively failed to provide or prepare policies and reasonable supervisory oversight of the operations of the Court and in the absence of such policies and oversight, wasted state funds on unnecessary renovations, travel, computers for home use, lunches, and the framing of personal items.” The Article also named Chief Justice Margaret Workman, Justice Allen Loughry, and now-retired Justice Robin Davis.
In addition to adopting the Articles of Impeachment, the House of Delegates also adopted House Resolution 203, which censured all then-sitting Justices relating to their conduct concerning their spending on their personal offices, among other things.
Following closing statements by both the House of Delegates Board of Managers and the attorneys for Justice Walker, the members of the Senate acting as jurors deliberated for approximately an hour and a half and returned its verdict. Following the acquittal of Justice Walker, the Senate adopted by voice vote Senate Resolution 205, a resolution of reprimand and censure against Justice Walker for the charges against her.
“After carefully considering all of the testimony over the course of Justice Walker’s trial, I did not believe that anything that she had been party to would rise to a level where it would overturn the will of the voters in an election by removing her from office,” Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, said. “I believe Justice Walker made significant errors in judgment, which she has willingly and publicly acknowledged, and she has expressed a desire to help rebuild the public’s trust of that institution.”
The next case before the Court of Impeachment will be Chief Justice Margaret Workman, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. October 15.