Delegate wants to impeach Justice

PARKERSBURG — A representative in the West Virginia House of Delegates is soliciting members to support the impeachment of the governor based on a residency clause in the state Constitution.

“I’m working on getting signatures,” Delegate Mike Folk, R-Berkeley, said Tuesday.

Folk had no further comment, other than citing Article VII Section 1 of the state Constitution that says the executive officers – governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, commissioner of agriculture and attorney general – “…shall reside at the seat of government during their terms of office…”

Folk is a Republican from the 63rd District and an airline pilot. He was elected to the House in 2012 and is a member of the conservative Liberty Caucus in the House.

A statement from Gov. Jim Justice, who also is a Republican, wasn’t immediately available. He switched from the Democratic Party during a rally by President Trump last fall.

Comments also were not immediately available from Melody Potter, chairman of the state Republican Party, or Belinda Biafore, Democratic Party chairman.

Justice owns coal mines and The Greenbrier, a world-class luxury resort in Greenbrier County.

Folk sent a text about the issue to Wood County Republican Party Chairman Rob Cornelius on Tuesday. Cornelius said he also is considering a mandamus action against the governor to compel his performance to live in Charleston and conduct his job there, full time.

“At the core of this issue, the governor refuses to live in Charleston and conduct the business of the state there. Period. Whether you disagree with his policies or not, Jim Justice clearly chooses to ignore our state’s Constitution deliberately. Is he too ill to serve? Does he think himself to be above the law? Rules matter,” Cornelius said. “We deserve a full-time, conservative governor who respects this state and all its laws.”

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