CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – As initially and consistently reported here, legal fees from the Governor Jim Justice residency Writ of Mandamus proceeding will be paid by state taxpayers.
Lootpress.com originally reported a settlement in the case of Justice and former Delegate Isaac Sponaugle the day it was settled.
Sponaugle, a Democrat, had sought the Mandamus to force Justice to live within Charleston city limits during his term as governor. Despite clear language in the state constitution requiring him to live in the “seat of government,” Justice continued to reside at his Lewisburg home.
When the settlement was announced three weeks ago, lootpress.com correctly reported that Justice had agreed to live in Charleston during his second term. Meanwhile, we reported, Sponaugle’s legal fees of $65,000 would be reimbursed.
Subsequently, erroneous media reports insisted that Justice had agreed to pay Spinaugle’s fees from his own funds.
It was additionally revealed by lootpress.com that Justice’s Attorney fees, at $350 per hour, would be paid by taxpayers.
An appearance by Chief Supreme Court Justice Evan Jenkins this week on radio’s Tom Roten Morning Show further confused the issue when Jenkins appeared to say that Justice was personally paying the legal fees.
After an inquiry by a lootpress.com reporter seeking clarification of Jenkins’ comments, the Chief Justice suggested the reporter contact Senior Circuit Judge Dan O’Hanlon, who presided during settlement of the case.
Wednesday evening Judge O’Hanlon issued the following statement in response to the reporter’s question.
“Because Mr. Justice was sued as Governor, and not as a private citizen, he is entitled to a state-paid attorney to argue his case. Because Mr. Sponaugle prevailed in the West Virginia Supreme Court, he is entitled to attorney’s fees, again paid for by the state,” O’Hanlon said.
Hopefully, this clarifies the matter.