Allen Loughry

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Allen Loughry
Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
In office
January 1, 2017 – February 16, 2018
Preceded byMenis Ketchum
Succeeded byMargaret Workman
Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
In office
January 1, 2013 – November 12, 2018
Suspended: June 8, 2018 – November 12, 2018
Preceded byThomas McHugh
Succeeded byPaul Farrell (Acting, by designation)
Personal details
Born (1970-08-09) August 9, 1970 (age 48)
Elkins, West Virginia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican[1]
EducationWest Virginia University,
Morgantown
(BS)
Capital University (JD)
American University (LLM, SJD)
University of London (LLM)

Allen H. Loughry II (born August 9, 1970) is a former justice on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Loughry was arrested by the FBI in 2018 after being indicted by a grand jury. In October 2018, he was convicted on 11 federal offenses, specifically wire fraud, making false statements to federal investigators, witness tampering and mail fraud.[2][3] The following month, after facing impeachment, Loughry resigned from office.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Loughry was born in 1970 and grew up in Parsons in Tucker County, West Virginia.[6][7] He graduated from Tucker County High School in 1988 and went on to earn an undergraduate degree from the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University (1992).[8]

Loughry earned a law degree from Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio; an LL.M. in Law and Government and an S.J.D. (Doctor of Juridical Science) from American University's Washington College of Law, and an LL.M. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of London.[9][10]

Career[edit]

Loughry was an assistant to U.S. Representative Harley O. Staggers, Jr. and Governor Gaston Caperton before joining the West Virginia Attorney General's Office as a senior assistant attorney general in 1997.[10] In 2003, he left the attorney general's office to become a law clerk at the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.[10] He also taught political science classes at the University of Charleston.[10]

In 2006, Loughry published Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for Another Couch: The Sordid and Continuing History of Political Corruption in West Virginia, a review of the history of political corruption in the state.[10][11] The forewords to the book were written by Senators Robert Byrd and John McCain.[10]

Election to state Supreme Court and election as chief justice[edit]

In 2012, Loughry ran as a Republican for a seat on the West Virginia Supreme Court and won a 12-year term. He assumed office on January 1, 2013, succeeding Thomas McHugh, who retired from the bench.[10]

In April 2017, Loughry was selected to serve as Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court for a four-year term. It was the first time a chief justice would serve four consecutive years since 1888. Previously, the chief justice had been elected by the Supreme Court to serve a one-year term, with a few justices serving two years in a row, but the court "voted to change its rules to provide for the chief justice to serve a four-year term and to allow the chief justice to be re-elected to subsequent four-year terms by a majority vote of the members of the court."[12]

Scandal[edit]

Federal prosecution and conviction[edit]

In late 2017, reports came to light of high spending by Loughry and Justice Robin Davis totaling well more than a million dollars,[13] and at an emergency meeting, he was replaced as Chief Justice by Justice Margaret Workman.[14]

On June 20, 2018, he was arrested at his home by the FBI, and later in the day Michael B. Stuart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, announced that a grand jury had indicted Loughry on 22 counts, including 16 counts of frauds and swindles, two counts of wire fraud, one count of witness tampering, and three counts of lying to federal investigators.[15]

Loughry’s federal criminal trial began on October 2. The trial concluded ten days later with Loughry being convicted of seven counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, one count of witness tampering and two counts of lying to the FBI. The jury found Loughry not guilty on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud. They also deadlocked on one count of wire fraud after United States District Judge John Copenhaver refused to issue an Allen charge to the jury concerning this count. Loughry will be sentenced by Copenhaver on January 16, 2019 and remains free on a personal recognizance bond pending sentencing.[16][17]

Suspension from office, impeachment proceedings, and resignation[edit]

On June 6, 2018, the state Judicial Ethics Committee charged Loughry with 32 counts of violation of the code of judicial ethics.[18] The Supreme Court, reconstituted with four circuit judges and a retired circuit judge, appointed for that purpose, suspended him without pay until further notice.[19]

On June 26, 2018, Governor Jim Justice called the West Virginia Legislature into special session to consider Loughry's impeachment.[20]

Following a series of controversies involving excessive spending, the House of Delegates, on the recommendation of the House Judiciary Committee, voted to impeach Loughry and justices Davis, Workman and Beth Walker on August 13, 2018 "for maladministration, corruption, incompetency, neglect of duty, and certain high crimes and misdemeanors". The fifth Supreme Court Judge, Menis Ketchum, had already pled guilty to wire fraud and resigned.[21] On November 9, 2018, Governor Jim Justice called the West Virginia Legislature into another special session to correct the procedural errors of the prior impeachment proceedings.[22]

On November 12, 2018—one day before the state legislature was to convene in special session to consider whether Loughry should be Impeached and removed from office—Loughry resigned.[4][5]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2013, the American University Washington College of Law awarded Loughry its Distinguished Alumnus Award.[23] In 2014, the Tucker County Chamber of Commerce awarded Loughry its Tuckineer Award, given to individuals for their civic commitment and service to Tucker County.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WV SOS - Elections - Election Results - Online Data Services". Apps.sos.wv.gov. 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  2. ^ Lacie Pierson, WV Supreme Court Justice Loughry guilty on 11 of 22 federal charges, Charleston Gazette-Mail (October 12, 2018).
  3. ^ Steven Allen Adams, West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry Asks Judge To Grant Him a New Trial, Wheeling News-Register (October 31, 2018).
  4. ^ a b "The Latest: W.Va. lawmakers won't meet after justice resigns". Associated Press. November 11, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Allen Adams, Steven (November 12, 2018). "Facing Possible Impeachment, West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Resigns". Governing.
  6. ^ "Allen Loughry: Court must resist the influence of politics". Opinions. The Herald-Dispatch. October 7, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-12. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  7. ^ Loughry said 'positive campaign' made the difference in race | News Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  8. ^ Phil Kabler, "State Beat: Officers have fast and slow starts", "wvgazette.com"
  9. ^ Justice Allen H. Loughry II, West Virginia Judiciary (as appeared November 13, 2018).
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Allen Loughry, West Virginia Encyclopedia (last revised November 12, 2018).
  11. ^ Candidates Corner: Allen Loughry, The Register Herald (October 2012).
  12. ^ Dickerson, Chris (2017-04-06). "State Supreme Court selects Loughry to four-year term as Chief Justice". West Virginia Record. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  13. ^ Bass, Kennie. "Waste Watch Investigation: WV Supreme Court spending examined | WCHS". Wchstv.com. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  14. ^ McElhinny, Brad (2018-02-16). "Loughry is out as chief justice, referencing federal investigation". WV MetroNews. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  15. ^ "WV Supreme Court Justice Loughry indicted on fraud, other charges | Cops & Courts". wvgazettemail.com. 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  16. ^ West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Loughry convicted on 11 charges.
  17. ^ WV Supreme Court Justice Loughry guilty on 11 of 22 federal charges.
  18. ^ "Loughry charged with 32 counts of violating Code of Judicial Conduct | West Virginia Record". Wvrecord.com. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  19. ^ https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2018/11/11/west-virginia-supreme-court-justice/
  20. ^ McElhinny, Brad (2018-06-25). "Special session starts Tuesday to deal with Supreme Court impeachment". WV MetroNews. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  21. ^ McElhinny, Brad (2018-08-07). "Delegates vote to impeach all four remaining WV Supreme Court justices". WV MetroNews. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  22. ^ Antolini, Butch (2018-11-09). "Gov. Justice issues proclamation calling for special session of Legislature on Tuesday, November 13, 2018". Office of the Governor. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  23. ^ Press Release, West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry to Receive Distinguished Alumnus Award at American University Washington College of Law, American University Washington College of Law (September 23, 2013).
  24. ^ Beth Christian Broschart, Tuckineer Selected, The Inter-Mountain (May 16, 2014).

Works[edit]

  • Loughry, Allen. Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide: The Sordid and Continuing History of Political Corruption in West Virginia. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing Company, 2006.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas McHugh
Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
2013–2018
Succeeded by
John A. Hutchison
Preceded by
Menis Ketchum
Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
2017–2018
Succeeded by
Margaret Workman