Feds subpoena W.Va., seeking records on governor's resort

FILE -In this Tuesday June 28, 2016 file photo, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Greenbrier owner Jim Justice, gestures during an interview at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. Justice, billionaire owner of The Greenbrier resort and Democratic nominee for governor, closed his hotel for business and opened it as a free shelter after the June 23 floods that killed 23 people, including 15 in Greenbrier County. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

By ANTHONY IZAGUIRRE Associated Press
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have issued a sweeping subpoena for records related to a resort owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.
A spokeswoman for the state commerce department provided a copy of the subpoena to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The subpoena requests contracts, communications and financial records from the state relating to The Greenbrier resort and its annual PGA golf tournament. It names Justice as well as his son, daughter and other high-ranking resort employees.
The Republican governor issued a statement denying wrongdoing.
“I’ve always done the right thing in my personal life, my business life, my political life and every part of my life,” he said. “The people of West Virginia know that I have always been an open book, so of course, I am fully cooperating with the investigation.”
Authorities are requesting records from Jan. 1, 2014, to March 6, 2019.
The commerce department previously sponsored The Greenbrier’s golf tournament but Justice ordered the arrangement to stop after taking office in 2017, saying in a news release that he didn’t want any perception of impropriety. Brian Abraham, general counsel in the governor’s office, reiterated that point in an interview.
“It looks like any and all money that would have been paid to those entities would have been done before he was governor,” he said.
A spokeswoman for prosecutors at the Southern District of West Virginia declined to comment.
In addition to Justice and his children, Jay and Jill, the subpoena names eight others who currently or formerly had business ties with the governor, but doesn’t explain the reason their records are being sought.
They are former Greenbrier Classic executive directors Habibi Mamone and Tim McNeely; Greenbrier resort chief operating officer Elmer Coppoolse and vice president of operations Terry Miller; Greenbrier Sporting Club vice president and general manager Larry Klein; Justice Holdings chief financial officer Elaine Butler; Bluestone Industries vice president of treasury Summer Harrison, and Jill Justice’s husband, Adam Long.
The existence of the subpoena was first reported by MetroNews.
___
John Raby contributed to this article from Charleston, W.Va.