CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Former Supreme Cloister Amends Brent Benjamin capped off a abounding day of affidavit in the federal balloon of Amends Allen Loughry, account an advancing action of memos amid justices over the use of accompaniment vehicles.
Benjamin didn’t absolutely achieve his testimony, so he’ll be aboriginal up on Friday morning aback balloon resumes.
Loughry faces 22 charges, including wire fraud, mail fraud, attestant analytical and authoritative a apocryphal account to federal investigators. The accuse accept to do with his use of a accompaniment agent and state-issued gas agenda for his clandestine biking as able-bodied as an aged accompaniment board kept in his home.
Benjamin and Loughry served on the cloister calm from 2013, aback Loughry joined, through 2016, aback Benjamin left.
They absolutely met anniversary other, though, aback Benjamin was aboriginal adopted in 2004 and aback Loughry was still a Supreme Cloister clerk, alive aboriginal for Amends Spike Maynard and again for Amends Margaret Workman.
Benjamin told a adventure as he testified about those days, aback he accomplished Loughry was application an aged “Cass Gilbert” board as his assignment station.
“Wow, you got a Cass Gilbert desk,” Benjamin recalled commenting.
As Benjamin remembered it, Loughry responded, “Yes, I’m actual advantageous to accept this. It’s actual historical.”
That’s cogent to prosecutors’ admiration to prove Loughry knew about the celebrated and cultural bulk of the board aback he had it confused to his own home.
Federal prosecutors asked Benjamin if there is any action acceptance justices to accept a home office, as Loughry has claimed.
“No, there was never such a action or procedural practice,” Benjamin said. “Other than a computer or a printer, no.”
In added contempo years and aback Loughry was confined as a Justice, Benjamin testified, the cloister became affected in a altercation over what constituted the able use of accompaniment vehicles.
Benjamin said his ability of the altercation began in mid-2016 aback Amends Robin Davis proposed attractive into agent acceptance and needs.
That advancement erupted into a alternation of battle memos from Davis, from the court’s aegis cadre and from Loughry, Benjamin recalled.
Jess Gundy, the Supreme Court’s agent administrator for security, additionally provided affidavit Thursday about those memos and the adamantine animosity that resulted.
One of the duties for Gundy and his boss, Art Angus, was to handle the scheduling of accompaniment vehicles.
Loughry would analysis out a Buick, Gundy said, afterwards advertence a destination.
“Allan never told us a location,” Gundy testified. “He would not acquaint us and accredit aback to the actuality that added justices didn’t allegation to apperceive area he was going.”
Gundy declared those encounters as “generally pleasant.”
But one chat angry dark, he said. “He said ‘It’s none of their effin’ business area I’m going.’ I was cerebration he meant the added justices.”
That seemed to be about the time a announcement from Amends Davis was broadcast in August, 2016. It was labeled “Check out procedures for West Virginia Supreme Cloister vehicles.”
Gundy testified that Loughry alleged the aegis cadre and commented, “You guys aren’t activity to bandy me beneath the bus, are you?”
Justice Davis asked Gundy and Angus to address their own announcement analogue the adapted check-out procedures for accompaniment vehicles. Gundy said he wrote the announcement because Angus was out of town. Angus alleged with some alteration tips that Gundy changed.
Gundy hand-delivered the announcement to the justices’ offices and, a brace of hours later, got a appointment from Loughry.
“He capital to apperceive who wrote the memo,” Gundy testified. “He said ‘She wrote the memo, didn’t she?’ I told him I did. I aloof told him I was cogent the truth.”
Gundy testified that Loughry aloft his voice. “He said we should be abashed of ourselves, and he left.”
Gundy testified that the aftermost band of the announcement was this: “The alone being we can anamnesis who bootless to accommodate a destination aback asked was Amends Loughry.”
For the aing several months, Gundy said, Loughry would about-face and airing in addition direction.
But in November, 2017, Gundy testified, Loughry came allurement for some assistance.
“He capital to admit my advice to move a couch and board from his abode to the barn in Kanawha City,” Gundy said. “He went on to acquaint me he wasn’t allurement me to do annihilation in adapted due to the actuality that justices are acceptable to accept home offices.”
Gundy testified that he, Angus and Paul Mendez, addition cloister employee, helped Loughry move the couch out of the abode that afternoon. That’s one that had been endemic by above Amends Joseph Albright.
The big, abundant aged board was confused later.
“It’s a big, old, wooden, abundant and animal desk, I think,” Gundy commented from the attestant stand.
The accumulation had absitively to aboriginal move the board from central Loughry’s home into his barn to abstain the boring of neighbors. That took a few hours. From there, the board was loaded into a van, apprenticed to a barn and unloaded.
Controversy over the couch and board additionally seemed to end Loughry’s admiration to be in control of a accompaniment vehicle, Gundy testified.
“He alternate the keys afterwards all this being about the couch and board started to arise in the media,” Gundy said.
Thursday morning’s affidavit began with the Supreme Court’s top banking administrator anecdotic how the cloister keeps clue of breadth and gas purchases.
Federal prosecutors are aggravating to prove not alone that Loughry acclimated a accompaniment agent for his claimed biking but that he accustomed agreement from out-of-state conferences while absolutely traveling in a accompaniment agent and application a accompaniment purchasing agenda for the gas.
Loughry’s attorney, John Carr, approved during cantankerous assay to catechism whether what ability assume like basal annal of gasoline purchases ability be accountable to animal absurdity or inconsistencies.
Carr asked about odometer readings that ability jump up or down, about whether purchasing cards ability be confused from accompaniment agent to accompaniment agent afterwards an actual agenda in the almanac keeping, and about how any one would apperceive absolutely who fabricated a gasoline purchase.
“There’s no way to acquaint absolutely who swiped the card?” Carr asked.
“That’s correct,” responded. Sue Racer-Troy, the court’s banking officer.
A brace of hours of Racer-Troy’s morning affidavit was committed to account off, line-by-line, annal of area gasoline was purchased, the bulk paid and the date and time.
As affidavit resumed afterwards a mid-morning break, U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver jokingly commented on the tedium: “I was absolutely encouraged that you accomplished folio 270.”
Federal prosecutors were up advanced with the board during aperture statements that some of the affirmation they intend to present is dry.
But the prosecutors said the addle pieces will fit calm over the advance of the trial.
Counts 1, 2 and 3 are apocryphal and counterfeit breadth claims. Counts 4 through 18 are counts of wire artifice over claimed use of Supreme Cloister cartage and government ammunition cards. Yet addition calculation alleges a apocryphal account about application a Supreme Cloister vehicle.
Among the aboriginal assemblage on Wednesday, the aboriginal day of testimony, were advisers of American University’s law academy and the Pound Civil Amends Institute who testified about alive with Loughry to be abiding he was reimbursed for his biking to events.
Another Supreme Cloister justice, Menis Ketchum, has pleaded accusable to a federal allegation of application a accompaniment purchasing agenda while traveling in a accompaniment agent to a golf airing in Virginia. Initially, Ketchum was accused of repeating that over and over.
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