CHARLESTON, W. Va. – (WOWK) — Jim Justice has been Governor of West Virginia for two-and-a half-years, but it hasn’t been a smooth ride. The Governor’s private businesses – now run by his children – have had to pay a multitude of debts, fines and penalties. In recent weeks the Justice companies paid one-point-eight million dollars in late taxes to Greenbrier County; one-point-two million dollars to four Kentucky Counties; and more than 400-thousand dollars to a Virginia County. But, the list of creditors still to be paid, is long.
“It has been really tough. And as they’ve gotten the monies and everything, they’ve made good on every obligation and they’ll continue to do so. I’ve said it all along. It’s just as simple as that,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
Forbes Magazine even published an article calling him “The Deadbeat Governor.” Former Wood County Republican Chairman Rob Cornelius was stripped of his title – in part, for being openly critical of the Republican Governor’s financial dealings. And his failure to attract much new business to the Mountain State.
“What you want when you try to start a new business, or move someplace with a bunch of dollars, you choose the best jurisdictions to do that. Where are people the smartest? Where’s the economy working? Right now West Virginia’s not doing a lot of favors for themselves with this guy leading the pack,” said Rob Cornelius, Former Wood Co. Republican Chairman.
But Justice defended himself, saying some of the financial bad luck was due to the 2016 floods, devastating the Greenbrier Resort which his family owns.
“It’s been a tough go. I mean when you just think about the insurance companies not paying the claims on the flood stuff. And I think we’ve got that settled now,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia .
Forbes Magazine estimates the Justice companies still owe at least 10 million dollars in outstanding obligations.
“But at the end of the day, we’ll pay every single thing. And I can’t say that we won’t be late to a party from time to time, but we’ll get it all done,” Gov. Jim Justice said.
“The Governor’s personal and corporate finances were an issue in the race for governor in 2016, but voters choose him anyway. Expect the same issues to come back again in 2020,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.