ICYMI: Gov. Justice pushes back on schedule/calendar lawsuit [News and Sentinel]

Follows DSCC billboards directing West Virginians to 


News and Sentinel: Gov. Justice pushes back on schedule/calendar lawsuit 
By Steven Allen Adams 
August 30, 2023

  • The lawsuit seeking West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s official calendars and schedules going back to his first year in office continues, with attorneys for the governor asking a judge to deny a motion to grant a summary judgment in the case.

  • Attorneys for Justice filed a response Aug. 9 to a motion for summary judgment requested at the end of July by attorneys for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

  • The DSCC attorneys are seeking a declaratory judgment from Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Bailey requiring Justice and the governor’s office to turn over public records, including an injunction ordering the office to comply plus the awarding of court fees. In a separate motion, DSCC attorneys asked Bailey to deny a motion from the governor’s office requesting dismissal of the lawsuit.

  • The DSCC is seeking access to records for all scheduled meetings involving Justice, Chief of Staff Brian Abraham, Deputy Chief of Staff Ann Urling and General Counsel Berkeley Bentley going back to January 2017, when Justice first took office.

  • Bentley denied the request, citing exemptions in the state’s FOIA law that allow state officials to withhold certain documents considered drafts or documents used by staff to coordinate both personal and official schedules. However, the governor’s office turned over similar records to the Associated Press in 2019 after first denying the AP’s FOIA request.

  • Justice’s records have become a target as the governor is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2024 for the seat held by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

  • “Jim Justice cannot continue to hide his work schedule, or lack thereof, from West Virginians,” said DSCC spokesperson Amanda Sherman Baity. “We fully expect Justice’s schedule will receive further scrutiny in his nasty primary and in a court of law.”

  • On Aug. 18, the DSCC put up billboards along Interstate 64 in Charleston and near the Justice-owned Greenbrier Resort pushing drivers toward a website the DSCC created focusing on the public documents lawsuit.

  • Justice is facing a challenge in next year’s Republican primary for Senate from U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., and Zane Lawhorn.


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