Lawyer files intent to sue again over governor's residency

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A lawyer and former lawmaker in West Virginia has announced that he intends to re-sue Governor Jim Justice over his residence.
Isaac Sponaugle sent Justice Thursday a 30-day intent to investigate alleged failure to comply with a settlement agreement dated Jan.
"Jim Justice has to decide what to do with his time," said Sponaugle. “He's a part-time governor, part-time businessman, and part-time basketball coach. The only thing he's doing full time is living in Greenbrier County. "
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The judiciary agreed to live in Charleston in March, ending a lawsuit Sponaugle filed in 2018 because the state's constitution said the governor should "live in the seat of government."
At the time, Justice said through his attorney that he intended to reside in Charleston, "in line with the definition of 'resident' in the opinion of the Supreme Court of Appeals," according to the dismissal order signed by Senior Status Circuit Judge Dan O'Hanlon .
The court concluded in 2020 that “domicile” is not a discretionary term, ruling that the constitutional definition of “domicile” means “primarily living in the seat of government and that the principal place of physical presence of the executive officer is the Seat of government for the duration of his term of office. "
Justice's personal attorneys Mike Carey and Steve Ruby said in a statement Thursday that Sponaugle is "grabbing media attention in an attempt to revive this pointless lawsuit".
“The people of West Virginia know exactly how hard Governor Justice works and how much he has done for the state. They know he works for them every day, either in Charleston or among the 99% of West Virginians who do not live in the capital, ”the statement said.
It did not directly address Sponaugel's allegation that Justice failed to abide by the terms of the March settlement, the newspaper reported.
In this article:
Jim justice
Businessman and Politician, Governor of West Virginia
Isaac Sponaugle
American politician

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