CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman has appointed a justice who will serve during Justice Allen Loughry's suspension.
Judge Paul T. Farrell will serve as a Supreme Court Justice during Loughry's suspension, according to a news release from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.
“Court employees have received many inquiries about whether the work of the court will continue as scheduled in the term that begins Sept. 5. It will. The court calendar is set and the docket will proceed as usual,” Workman said in the release. “Supreme Court Justices are Constitutionally required to keep the court open and will continue to fulfill their Constitutional duties."
The release said Farrell will also serve as acting Chief Justice if articles of impeachment against Workman go to the Senate for a trial.
With allegations of lavish spending, misusing state resources and failing to properly administer the West Virginia Supreme Court, the state’s four remaining justices face possible impeachment after a historic vote in the House Judiciary Committee.
The panel passed 14 of 16 proposed articles of impeachment Tuesday that include Justices Allen Loughry, Workman, Robin Davis and Beth Walker.
Farrell was appointed to the bench in the Sixth Judicial Circuit (Cabell County) by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in 2011 and was then elected in 212.
Farrell is a native of Huntington and graduated from Xavier University in 1971 and the West Virginia College of Law in 1978. He has been practicing law Farrell, Farrell, & Farrell, PLLC, for fifteen years.
He also previously served as Assistant Attorney General for West Virginia, Counsel for the West Virginia Senate President, Administrative Law Judge at the West Virginia Department of Employment Security, Hearing Examiner for the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Board, Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Marshall University, Assistant Trust Officer at First Huntington National Bank, Assistant Cabell County Prosecutor, solo practitioner and Assistant United States Attorney. Judge Farrell served in the U. S. Army from 1971-1973 as a First Lieutenant.