Former W.Va. Judge Gets Prison Time for Corruption

Updated 13 weeks ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Former W.Va. Judge Gets Prison Time for Corruption

By Lawrence Smith

CHARLESTON, W. Va. – A former West Virginia Supreme Court justice convicted of the very corruption he wrote about before taking office was sentenced Wednesday to two years in federal prison.

Before his removal from the chief justice post this time last year, Allen Loughry had served five years on the bench where he oversaw a $353,000 office renovation that included a $32,000 blue suede couch and a $7,500 wood-inlay floor map of West Virginia.

Meanwhile the judge furnished his home with various state-owned property, including a $42,000 Cass Gilbert desk and a green leather couch.

Loughry, 48, resigned in November following a trial where he was found guilty on 11 of 22 counts, including fraud and lying to federal investigators.

In addition to his misappropriation of state furniture, Loughry was convicted of using a state vehicle and state-issued gasoline purchasing card for personal travel.

At his sentencing hearing Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Wright said incarceration was necessary since the damage Loughery did “cannot be measured in dollars and cents.” 

Noting that justice’s stature at the “apex” the state’s legal system, Wright quoted a passage from Loughry’s 2006 book “Don’t Buy Another Vote, I Won’t Pay for Landslide: The Sordid and Continuing History of Political Corruption in West Virginia.”

“Of all of the criminal politicians in West Virginia, the group that shatters the confidence of the people the most is a corrupt judiciary,” Loughry wrote. “It is essential that people have the absolute confidence in the integrity and impartiality of our system of justice.”

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