A West Virginia Supreme Court justice was indicted on 22 federal counts of fraud, witness tampering and making false statements on Wednesday.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Allen Loughry, who wrote a book on political corruption, was indicted on two counts of fraud by wire, radio or television, 16 counts of frauds and swindles, one count of witness tampering and three counts of making false statements.
The report says that a grand jury charged Loughry with purposefully lying to federal investigators, and that he acted “with intent to defraud, misused and abused his position, power and authority.”
“Our Supreme Court must be a beacon of hope and not a safe place for the cancer of corruption,” U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said in a news conference after Loughry was arrested.
The indictment on Wednesday stems from a 32-count judicial complaintfiled by West Virginia’s Judicial Investigative Commission earlier this month. In the complaint, it alleged that Loughry made “false statements with the deliberate intent to deceive” and “gave disinformation with the intent to harm another person.”
Loughry first came under suspicion after a local ABC news affiliate reported that the state’s Supreme Court had pricey renovations to the facility. It was reported that Loughry played a big part in the $363,000 makeover for his own office.
In its complaint, the commission accused Loughry of lying to reporters about the renovations.
Loughry wrote a book in 2006 titled “Don’t Buy Another Vote, I Won’t Pay for a Landslide: The Sordid and Continuing History of Political Corruption in West Virginia.”
The West Virginia Metro News reported that Loughry writes in the book that “of all the criminal politicians in West Virginia, the group that shatters the confidence of the people the most is a corrupt judiciary.”
BY JUSTIN WISE – 06/20/18