The Latest: Attorney says justice ‘owned up to’ mistakes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The Latest on the impeachment trial of West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Beth Walker (all times local):

10:10 a.m.

An attorney for the first West Virginia Supreme Court justice to go on trial in an impeachment scandal says his client didn’t engage in conduct that justifies her removal from office.

Mike Hissam gave his opening remarks Monday to the state Senate in the trial of Justice Beth Walker.

The House of Delegates impeached Walker and three other justices on a charge of abusing their authority. It says they failed to control office expenses, including more than $1 million in renovations to their individual offices, and not maintain policies over matters such as working lunches and the use of state vehicles and office computers at home.

Hissam says Walker made mistakes and has owned up to them, including reimbursing the state for taxpayer-paid lunches for the justices.

It’s the only impeachment count Walker faces. The House chose not to impeach her for spending $131,000 on office renovations, far less than what some other justices spent.


8 a.m.

The first West Virginia Supreme Court justice to go on trial in an impeachment scandal is looking forward to explaining her actions since taking office.

Justice Beth Walker’s trial is set to start Monday in the state Senate.

Four justices were impeached by the House of Delegates in August. The cases targeted spending, including renovations to the justices’ offices, and also raised questions about corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty.

Walker has said she takes “full responsibility” for her actions and plans to go over them with the Senate.

Some Democrats have criticized the impeachment moves as a power grab by majority Republican lawmakers, strategically timed to allow GOP Gov. Jim Justice to name their temporary replacements.

Justice Margaret Workman, retired Justice Robin Davis and suspended Justice Allen Loughry face trial in the Senate later this fall.

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