WV Supreme Court Justice Ketchum resigns
CHARLESTON — Menis Ketchum, one of two justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals under fire for spending practices, resigned today — less than 24 hours before House members consider articles of impeachment against one or more justices.
Gov. Jim Justice announced the resignation in a press release this afternoon. Ketchum’s resignation is effective July 27.
“I have directed my general counsel to provide the necessary documentation to the Judicial Vacancy Commission and other state agencies as may be appropriate to fill this vacancy created by Justice Ketchum’s resignation,” Justice said.
Ketchum, along with Justice Allen Loughry, were singled out by a legislative audit for possibly violating the Ethics Act by using vehicles owned by the High Court for their personal use. According to the report, both justices were not reporting the vehicle use in their personal income tax filings.
The report specifically criticizes Ketchum for using the court’s vehicles for golf outings. When brought to his attention, Ketchum reimbursed the state and amended his tax forms. Ketchum also received criticism for the cost of office renovations and for taking a $2,500 grandfather clock owned by the court.
Because Ketchum is retiring, his pension will remain intact.
The House Judiciary Committee meets Thursday for the first day of several hearings to interview witnesses and go over evidence before submitting articles of impeachment to the full House of Delegates. The House is charged with looking at all supreme court justices.