WV Supreme Court administrative director resigns

June 3, 2018 GMT

CHARLESTON — Gary L. Johnson, administrative director for the West Virginia Supreme Court, announced Friday that he will resign effective June 30.

Attorney Barbara Allen, who served as the court administrative director from 2001-02, has been hired as the interim director while the Supreme Court conducts a search for a permanent replacement, according to a news release.

Johnson had served as administrative director since March 6, 2017. Prior to that, he served as a circuit judge in the 28th Judicial Circuit (Nicholas County) from 1992 to 2016.

“I truly appreciate the opportunity the court has given me these past 17 months to work with the wonderful employees of the West Virginia court system,” Johnson said in a statement issued by the court. “I have found my work here to be both challenging and fulfilling. I look forward to exploring other opportunities for public service.”

As a circuit judge, Johnson was chairman of the West Virginia Court Improvement Program Oversight Board for 16 years. As a private attorney, he served as Richwood’s municipal judge and was elected to a four-year term as Nicholas County prosecutor in 1985.

“Judge Johnson has had a long and distinguished career. We appreciate his service, and we all wish him well,” said Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman in the news release.

“The court is immensely grateful that Barbara Allen has agreed to come out of semi-retirement to serve on an interim basis,” Workman added. “Her prior experience as administrative director, as well as experience throughout a long and outstanding legal career, will give us a solid base while we search for a permanent director.”

Allen previously served as managing deputy attorney general from 1997 until 2012, except for her tenure as Supreme Court administrative director. At the Attorney General’s Office, she supervised the appellate; tax, arts and education; and civil rights divisions and briefed and argued scores of cases before the West Virginia Supreme Court. In 2013 she was a clerk for Workman.

No reason for Johnson’s decision to resign was given Friday.

West Virginia’s Supreme Court justices have been under fire in recent months, however, for their spending and other actions.

Reports found Justice Allen Loughry had a state-owned antique desk valued at $42,000 and another couch removed from his office to his home, while Justice Menis Ketchum misused taxpayers’ dollars on state-owned and rental cars.

The Supreme Court as a whole has been criticized for the amount spent on furnishings and decor for the space it occupies in Charleston.