Arrogance: Loughry’s punishment should send a message

Disgraced former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry will pay a stiff price for abusing the trust voters placed in him. Good. It would be nice to be able to think that will serve as a deterrent to others tempted to abuse their power.

Loughry was found guilty last fall of 11 criminal charges stemming from misdeeds he committed while serving on the state’s highest court. He was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver.

Copenhaver told Loughry he will be spending two years in prison. He also was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and more than $2,200 in restitution and court costs.

“I have not seen evidence of remorse,” Copenhaver told Loughry in rejecting a request that the ex-justice be placed on probation.

Copenhaver added he hopes the sentence “promotes respect for the law. The public needs protection from further criminal conduct on your part.”

And on the part of others, we might add.

Loughry’s behavior was a symptom of a sort of arrogance among some public officials. They won’t be caught and, if they do, they will escape serious punishment, some believe.

Wrong. Let us hope other government officials — and there are still plenty in Charleston, Washington, D.C., and everywhere — who abuse the public’s trust also are punished severely.

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