Health issues have led to two attorneys representing former West Virginia Supreme Court justice Robin Davis to resign from representing her in impeachment and related proceedings in the West Virginia Legislature and federal court.
Charleston attorneys Bob Allen and Pamela Deem, with Kay Casto & Chaney, filed the notice of withdrawal with the state Senate Oct. 4 said they were withdrawing as counsel do to Allen’s health issues.
In the filing, they notified the Senate that Tim DiPiero and Lonnie Simmons, with DiTrapano Barrett DiPiero McGinley & Simmons will represent Davis in upcoming proceedings.
Subsequent to that notice, Simmons filed a motion in the Senate to delay Davis’ impeachment trial in the Senate, currently scheduled to begin Oct. 29.
In the motion, Simmons requests for Davis’ trial to be delayed until after the Nov. 6 general election.
Simmons also asks for the deadline for motions and evidence submission in the case to be pushed back until five days after the resolution of Chief Justice Margaret Workman’s impeachment trial in the Senate.
Workman’s trial is set to begin Oct. 15.
Cabell Circuit Judge Paul Farrell will be responsible for handing down a ruling on the motion. In July, Workman appointed Farrell to serve as the presiding officer in impeachment proceedings in the Senate and to temporarily serve on the court in place of suspended Justice Allen Loughry.
On Sept. 26, Davis filed a lawsuit in federal court against Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia legislators, claiming they impeached her in an effort to create a conservative and male-majority Supreme Court.
Davis asked a federal judge to grant an injunction to stop the impeachment trial against her and declare that the articles of impeachment passed by the House of Delegates are invalid, unfounded and contrary to the law, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
On Sept. 28, Davis filed a motion with the Senate to delay her impeachment trial in the Senate until after the general election, saying the political influence of the election cycle paired with the media exposure have “seriously threatened” her ability to have a fair and impartial trial.
Davis is set to stand trial on four articles of impeachment before the West Virginia Senate beginning Oct. 29, eight days before the general election.
The West Virginia House of Delegates on Aug. 13 adopted 11 articles of impeachment against the four then-justices on the court, Davis, Chief Justice Margaret Workman, Justice Beth Walker and suspended Justice Allen Loughry.
On Oct. 2, the Senate voted against adopting the article of impeachment against Walker, keeping her in office, following a day-and-a-half-long trial. Senators instead voted to censure Walker.
The House adopted four articles of impeachment against Davis.
Two of the articles charge her with authorizing the overpayment of senior status judges while she was chief justice. Another article charges her with “unnecessary and lavish” spending on renovations to her office in the Supreme Court facilities in the East Wing of the state capitol complex.
All four of the impeached current and former justices were charged with maladministration.