CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP/WOWK) – A long-running lawsuit seeking to require West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice to live in the state’s capital will continue. A circuit judge in Charleston on Wednesday asked for more legal filings in the case brought by Democratic Del. Isaac Sponaugle.
Sponaugle says Justice should be ordered to live in Charleston because the state constitution requires the governor to “reside at the seat of government.” He argued that the citizens of West Virginia deserve a governor who is on the job.
“Look at the education problems we have, look at our roads falling apart, look at the scandals coming out of Commerce, look at all these various lawsuits that he’s interested in and other various things. He’s under a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice, all of this is weighing on the state and taking up his time where he’s not putting the needs of the state forward,” said Sponaugle. The governor’s lawyers say the definition of reside is unclear and added that the suit would essentially force the court to chaperone Justice’s whereabouts.
“He’s obviously got issues that makes him feel more comfortable to reside in Lewisburg, but he gets up every morning and drives where he needs to go,” said Michael Carey, outside counsel for the Governor’s Office. This is the third time Sponaugle has sued over Justice’s residency, with the previous two suits thrown out on technicalities.