By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
On Wednesday, Allen Loughry, former Supreme Court Justice, appeared in a Wayne County court room after being charged and sentenced on ten of eleven felony counts earlier this month. According to Fox 11 Eyewitness News, Loughry admitted there was enough convincing evidence in eight of the nearly three dozen charges, though he would not admit guilt.
On January 31, 2019, Loughry signed an agreement along with his counsel John Carr, and Judicial Disciplinary Counsel Brian Lanham and Teresa Tarr agreeing to never again seek public office by election or appointment in West Virginia, as well as to pay the investigation and prosecution fees of nearly $6,000. The Judicial Disciplinary Counsel also recommended in the document for Loughry to be “publicly censured/reprimanded for each of the Code of Judicial Conduct/Rule of Professional Conduct violations”, and recommended a fine of $3,000 be paid. This agreement further stated, “Both parties understand, acknowledge, and agree that the decision to accept the recommendation of disbarment, censure, fine, and costs rests solely within the purview of the Judicial Hearing Board and the Supreme Court of Appeals”. With disbarment, it does allow Loughry to reapply for his law license after five years. These items in this agreement were the discussion topics of Wednesday’s hearing.
According to The Harold Dispatch, fellow news out of Huntington, WV, commission counsel Tarr noted of his allegations, the most concerning was the lying. Loughry allegedly lied in a public statement, about using state owned computers in his home, and using state owned vehicles for personal agenda. Tarr was quoted saying, “We subscribe to the theory that the truth will set you free,” Tarr said. “People come into court every day, they are placed under oath and they are told to tell the truth. They believe that if they tell the truth, that ultimately their side will prevail. We can really expect no less of our lawyers and our judges. Former Justice Loughry was the type of individual that expected people as the head of the whole judiciary to tell him the truth … But he couldn’t do the same.”
According to WV Record, at the hearing, Loughry’s attorney Carr addressed Wayne Circuit Judge Darrel Pratt stating that he and his client “do not admit any of the conduct (in the state ethics charges) rises to the level of criminal conduct and that the standard of proof (for this matter) is clear and convincing evidence”. As Loughry and Carr exited the courtroom, they denied the opportunity to make any further comments.
Tarr proclaimed this has been one of the most difficult processes of her career and that the amount of charges brought against Loughry is the most she can recall. She was further quoted stating, “I hope the public understands we’re here to protect the judicial system,” she said. “We police and protect our own. The public’s faith will begin to be restored”.
Loughry is required to report to a federal prison, location yet to be determined, on April 5, 2019 to serve his 24 month sentence for his 10 felonies in addition to three years of supervised probation. He is also mandated to pay fines and restitution of $11,273.