CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said Thursday the investigation into the West Virginia Supreme Court is over for his office.
“Our long-term investigation into corruption of West Virginia’s highest court is now concluded,” Stuart said in a news release. “Absent new information or new allegations of impropriety or illegality, based on the information we have investigated and reviewed, we are hopeful that the period of uncertainty and taint of West Virginian’s highest court is over. This does not mean there will not be another investigation regarding other issues at some point in the future, but, for now, we are finished with our work.”
Former Supreme Court justice Allen Loughry was convicted in October 2018 by a federal jury of one count of mail fraud, seven counts of wire fraud and two counts of lying to the FBI. One count was later dropped. Loughry was sentenced in February to 24 months in prison. He was ordered to pay restitution to the state of West Virginia and the Pound Civil Justice Institute.
Former Supreme Court Justice Menis Ketchum pleaded guilty to wire fraud in August 2018 and was sentenced this month to three years of probation.
An Eyewitness News iTeam investigation into Supreme Court spending brought attention to the issue in 2017.
“Although necessary on behalf of the people of West Virginia and in defense of the rule of law, the indictment and conviction of former Chief Justice Allen Loughry and the Information and conviction of former Justice Menis Ketchum brought me no personal pleasure,. Rather, my satisfaction is that my office was able to play a significant role in restoring the confidence of the people of West Virginia in the West Virginia Supreme Court. I have great sympathy for the families involved in this matter, but I have said many times, this office takes the issue of public corruption and abuse of the public trust incredibly seriously," Stuart said.