A West Virginia Supreme Court justice is in very hot water and is about to go to prison it looks like. Allen H. Loughry II, a 47-year-old justice at the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, faces up to 395 years in prison and $5.5 million in fines after being hit with a 22-count indictment on numerous charges of fraud and corruption. Someone’s been a very naughty judge. He was charged by a federal grand jury on Wednesday with fraud, false statements, and witness tampering offenses. Loughry will be back in court this week to answer the charges against him.
“A federal grand jury has charged a Justice on the state’s highest court with numerous and serious federal crimes,” United States Attorney Mike Stuart said in a statement just released. “On this day—West Virginia Day—the people of our great state deserve better. They have worked too hard and too long to tolerate misconduct that strikes at the heart of the public’s trust by their elected officials. I intend to do all that I can to ensure that our people have the honest government they deserve.”
This turn of events must have shocked the good people of West Virginia and really, really ticked them off. Among his offenses, Loughry is accused of using a government vehicle and credit card on personal trips. He was living it up on the public dime. He also unlawfully converted to his own use a historically significant piece of furniture – a desk that belonged to famed architect Cass Gilbert. Loughry has also been charged with attempting to obstruct and influence testimonial evidence of a Supreme Court employee in an imminent grand jury investigation. His alleged corruption is long and deep and now very, very public.
Justice Loughry was arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday at his home. He was then transported to the federal courthouse in Charleston for processing and to schedule his arraignment. He was not expected to be detained pending his trial. That surprises me. I would think his bail would be revoked and he would be detained as a flight risk. “Public corruption is a top investigative priority for the FBI,” FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nick Boshears said. “It erodes public confidence and undermines the Rule of Law. We want the people we serve to know the FBI will hold those accountable who betray the public’s trust.” It’s a pity the FBI doesn’t hold itself accountable these days. Just sayin’.
This looks like a very bad guy and I’m glad he was busted. Loughry took office in 2012. He was selected to serve as Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court in April 2017, but later that year was replaced amid reports that he and another justice spent more than a million dollars of public funds. He has since been suspended without pay. He deserves far worse than that in my book.
Loughry is a registered Republican but is facing much more serious jail time than Democrats caught in similar circumstances. Not that he doesn’t deserve it, but the law should be blind to politics and social status. All of them should face the same justice. I would say however, 395 years seems excessive on all this. I doubt that will be his sentence. There is no doubt he’s going to prison, but it will be significantly less than the maximum here.
House Speaker Tim Armstead (R-WV) released the following statement regarding the indictment of Supreme Justice Allen Loughry:
“I’m saddened and disappointed to read these very serious allegations of corruption by a member of our state’s highest court contained in today’s indictment. I am deeply troubled by these allegations and believe my fellow West Virginians are as well.
“Under the legal process in our nation and state, Justice Loughry will be afforded due process as the case against him is prosecuted. While he has been suspended from sitting on the court and is not receiving pay, I would reiterate my belief that it is in our state’s best interest for Justice Loughry to resign so we can begin the long process of restoring our citizens’ trust in their judicial system.
“Regardless of what course Justice Loughry may choose to take, the Legislature will continue its work to get to the bottom of what has occurred, to evaluate the evidence and assess how best to proceed to ensure that our judges and all public officials are held to the highest legal and ethical standards.”
Sharky Democrat House and Senate leaders say they are renewing their call to begin impeachment proceedings for Justice Allen Loughry. They smell Republican blood in the water and are going for it. “As we stated in our June 8th letter to the Governor, President Carmichael and Speaker Armstead, our citizens deserve to be protected against corruption- and the Legislature must stand strong against Justice Loughry’s abuse of power,” Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso (D-WV) stated in a press release.
“The announcement today of the federal indictment of Supreme Court Justice Loughry is not surprising,” House of Delegates Minority Leader Tim Miley (D-WV) added. “The Governor and Republican leadership must take immediate action – and I am hoping that perhaps today’s news will prompt them to finally initiate an impeachment proceeding. Continued delay reflects tacit indifference to his behavior.”
Regardless of political affiliation, no one is above the law. If Loughry is guilty, then he should be punished to the full extent of the law here. He should resign while these charges are worked out legally. He’s charged with 16 counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, one count of witness tampering and three counts of making false statements to a federal agent. Even a state Supreme Court justice has to answer to the rule of law.
President Trump Announced How He Just Got Mexico To Pay For The Wall
When President Trump said he would have Mexico pay for the wall on our southern border, he meant it. He just announced how they are going to do it too… through the USMCA (the revision of NAFTA). Which I suspect was the plan all along.
Very early this morning at about 4:38 am, Trump tweeted: “I often stated, “One way or the other, Mexico is going to pay for the Wall.” This has never changed. Our new deal with Mexico (and Canada), the USMCA, is so much better than the old, very costly & anti-USA NAFTA deal, that just by the money we save, MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL!”
Do you think Facebook should be regulated so they're forced to treat everyone the same, regardless of their political beliefs, considering their size and influence in society?
— Amanda Shea (@TheAmandaShea) December 13, 2018
For those doubters on Twitter (and you will see some of them below), I highly doubt the plan was ever to have Mexico pay for the wall up front. We would fund the wall and recoup the funding from Mexico. I don’t see what is so hard to understand about that. But it seems to be a financial move many can’t seem to grasp and that is beyond their comprehension.
SIGN PETITION DEMANDING TRUMP BUILD THE WALL 75,000 HAVE SIGNED
I fully support that if Congress just won’t fund the wall, having the military build it through Pentagon funding and then reimbursing them for it. Why? Because it is a national security issue and always has been. That border is a clear and present danger.
Why shouldn’t Trump have Mexico pay through the USMCA? And why all the negativity from people who are obviously poorly informed and just politically biased? They let their hate for the president dictate all their thoughts and actions rather than looking at the mechanics of the move and the benefits from it. I just don’t get these people. They have not even given this a chance and already they are shooting it down. That’s a leftist for you.
Check out the moves on Twitter over this:
I often stated, “One way or the other, Mexico is going to pay for the Wall.” This has never changed. Our new deal with Mexico (and Canada), the USMCA, is so much better than the old, very costly & anti-USA NAFTA deal, that just by the money we save, MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018
The government didn’t spend or receive money from NAFTA. So unless you’re going to raise taxes, there is no money coming into the government from the new deal.
— pastajoe (@pastajoe5) December 13, 2018
Good, now you can stop bothering Chuck and Nancy about getting our money for it.
— S.Danielle (@sdanielle) December 13, 2018
I am losing faith in you, sir. Why are you asking us taxpayers for 5 billion dollars if the new deal will pay for the wall? You promised that we wouldn’t have to pay for it! Please keep your promise, a free border wall, or I will not vote for you again. #NoWallNoVote pic.twitter.com/eDopbpl7T1
— Ridgely Gibbs (@Patriots4Truth_) December 13, 2018
Also the deal still has to be ratified and approved by Congress which probably won't happen until the end of 2019 Or possibly mid 2020. So you're making promises using money you don't have and may possibly not get. What a shocker Mr. Bankruptcy
— Alan Volante (@VolanteAlan) December 13, 2018
Well wait until that money is coming in and build it then
— Caren Sykes (@misscsykes12) December 13, 2018
I've decided I'm not buying a Maga hat from you, but instead spend the money on drugs. So, now you pay for my drugs.
— Vincent Carmiggelt (@graphincent) December 13, 2018
Great so you don't need a penny from Congress or US Taxpayers then. Let us know when Mexico sends you the check for the $5 billion you want for the first payment on the wall. Until then don't bother Americans for the $.
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) December 13, 2018
No, this means consumers will pay for the wall.
— Carolyn McClanahan (@CarolynMcC) December 13, 2018
If you buy something that normally costs $1000 on sale for $750, you didn't save $250. You spent $750.
— Cannie Ware (@CannieW) December 13, 2018
— ????????❌TrumpedUp❌???????? (@TrumpedUp20) December 13, 2018
Bait and switch
— Greg Stanton (@GregStanton) December 13, 2018
Jeez… I saw that one coming.
— Honest Abe (@honestpotus16) December 13, 2018
Most of these people don’t seem to get that a great deal of the funding for the wall was approved before Trump started all of this. I have never seen so many people so intent on leaving themselves open to attack. What a bunch of foolish, self-involved individuals. Just sad. Build the wall whatever it takes and do it fast before one of our many enemies gets a chance to severely cripple this nation once again.
Illegal Invader Collides With Major Karma After Leaving Church – Should’ve Listened!
An illegal alien was busted in North Carolina last week after leaving a church to meet for a scheduled appointment with immigration officials. Samuel Oliver-Bruno, 47, was evidently living for almost a year in the basement of a Methodist church while trying to get his deportation to Mexico delayed. ICE doesn’t make arrests in churches so they waited until he left this one.
Oliver-Bruno was asked to provide his fingerprints to move his petition forward. He was promptly arrested in the USCIS office when he arrived. To be fair, this guy is a convicted criminal and is not some innocent victim here. Clergy from the church formed a human wall around the vehicle taking him to detention, singing “Amazing Grace” and chanting “Let him stay!” Several were arrested. The Hill has more on this misguided intervention:
An undocumented man was arrested in North Carolina on Friday after leaving a church to meet for a scheduled appointment with immigration officials, The News & Observer reported.
Samuel Oliver-Bruno, 47, was living in the basement of Durham’s CityWell United Methodist Church for nearly a year while he petitioned for his deportation to Mexico to be delayed. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not make arrests in churches.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asked Oliver-Bruno to appear in person to provide his fingerprints in order for his petition to be processed. He was then arrested inside the USCIS office, the paper reported.
“Mr. Oliver-Bruno is a convicted criminal who has received all appropriate legal process under federal law, has no outstanding appeals, and has no legal basis to remain in the U.S.,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson Bryan Cox told The News & Observer in a statement.
Faith leaders and church members who had accompanied Oliver-Bruno formed a human wall around the vehicle taking him to detention, singing “Amazing Grace” and chanting “Let him stay!” Several were arrested, according to CNN.
“It was presented as a legitimate appointment but ICE utilized due process as bait,” Cleve May, a pastor at the church, told CNN. “So we went to the appointment with him, to offer protection, knowing that ICE could not be trusted. We were thinking we would be in and out in 30 minutes.”
“Samuel’s sudden and inappropriate arrest in the middle of the Thanksgiving season reflects the callous and cruel approach we’ve come to expect from the Trump administration. As Members of Congress representing the Durham community, we will continue to do everything in our power to keep the Oliver-Bruno family together,” they said.
“In a call with us this afternoon, ICE has committed to allow Mr. Oliver-Bruno to remain in the U.S. in detention while his case is adjudicated. While this means he will not be immediately deported, we remain committed to fighting for his release.”
Oliver-Bruno was arrested in El Paso, Texas, in 2014 after using a Texas birth certificate to enter the U.S., according to CNN. He lived for 11 months in sanctuary at the Durham church, where he helped with renovations, including a bedroom and shower after CityWell agreed to take him in the facility.
Oliver-Bruno said he feared he will be deported, leaving behind his son and wife, who has lupus and depends on her husband financially, the News & Observer reported.
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