CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Governor Jim Justice has brought on the dismissal of a Writ of Mandamus petition by agreeing to reside in Charleston during the remainder of his second term.
The agreement first reported here two weeks ago, says Justice will abide by the November 20, 2020, Supreme Court opinion. That opinion essentially requires some degree of living in the capital city in compliance with the state constitution.
Most governors reside in the Governor’s Mansion near the capitol in Charleston’s East End. Justice had steadfastly refused to do that, instead of commuting to his personal residence in Lewisburg during his first term. He insisted modern communications allowed him to effectively function outside Charleston as well as he could staying there.
Justice “has represented that he intends to ‘reside’ in Charleston consistent with the definition of ‘reside’ in the Supreme Court opinion,” the order signed by Special Kanawha County Circuit Judge Dan O’Hanlon says. It does not specifically say how many days the governor will spend in Charleston each week. However, by signing the order, the party bringing the action certified that he is satisfied with the governor’s agreement to comply.
The governor’s decision to live in Charleston makes the entire issue “moot,” according to the order.
Citing state law, the order goes on to say, Isaac Sponaugle, who brought the case, will receive $65,000 in attorney fees. Sponaugle, a Franklin attorney, represented himself. He is a former Democrat member of the House of Delegates. Justice is a Republican.
Justice was represented by attorneys Michael W. Carey, Steven R. Ruby and David Pogue of the Charleston law firm Carey, Douglas, Kessler & Ruby.
The order is effective today, March 1.