Massey in New Recusal Dispute

Massey Energy Co., on the losing end of the U.S. Supreme Court�s recent Caperton v. Massey decision, is at the heart of a new bid for a West Virginia judge to step down from hearing a case on grounds of an appearance of impropriety.

Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury of Mingo County, overseeing a major pollution lawsuit against Massey, is accused of failing to disclose a friendship with the company’s chief executive and of appointing a personal business partner as administrator of a medical monitoring fund, according to reports in the Charleston Gazette and the Associated Press

Kevin Thompson, a lawyer for hundreds of area residents, contended in court papers the situation amounted to “cronyism at its worst.”

Judge Thornsbury told the Charleston Gazette the allegations were unfounded and that he was not friends with Massey CEO Don Blankenship.

West Virginia judicial ethics has been getting attention around the nation. The high court was asked in Caperton whether a judge could be forced to step aside from cases involving major financial backers. In its landmark decision last month, the high court said that West Virginia Chief Justice Brent Benjamin was�constitutionally obligated�to recuse, because� Blankenship had spent $3 million to help elect him while appealing a case to overturn a $50 million jury award.

The latest recusal request reflects how ties between Blankenship and jurists continue to spark controversy. State Supreme Court Justice Elliott Maynard lost a primary in May after he was photographed on the French Riviera with� Blankenship.

In a related development, Massey has agreed to drop a lawsuit challenging West Virginia�s recusal law as unconstitutional, according to a Charleston Gazette news story.

The close relationships between Don Blankenship and West Virginia Supreme Court justices has been well-chronicled on Gavel Grab.

3 thoughts on “Massey in New Recusal Dispute

  1. This Judicial Favoritism occures even in the the Lower” Courts” in my case a “New to the Bench” Judge James A. Farber from the Well Connected “DeCottis LaW Firm”, Was given a Judicial appointment to the Sussex County,,,Superior Court located in Newton, New Jersey ..
    Judge Jamas A. Farber being well know for his exclusivly favoring of Female Litigantsin his Court, Judge Farber went ahead and Illegally 0verturned 4 previous more experienced Judges with Decades more experience on the Bench.To favor many a Female Litigant that was also a Court Clerk in Sussex County..I have tried to bring this to the Attention of Govenor Jon Corzine and Court Administrators Judge Phil Cartchman on Judge Bozonellis and no Avail….
    Talk about Corruption it is here in New Jersey and was evidenced recently by Major Arrests of Politicians..Perhaps Judge Also should be investigated to weed out the Bad Judges..But for Political reasons it may
    not Happen. Even the State Judiciarry Committee Chair Treats Judicial complains with Disdain..Thank you very much Corrupt Political Bully Senator Mr. John Adler now elevated to Congressman from New Jersey..Newark Office F.B.I. Special Agent Mr. Wes Dunn turned deaf Ears to my complaints of Judicial Corruption.

  2. I have to say Judge Farber’s reputation proceeds him in that he picks one of the people to go against and one not to. In my case I am FEMALE and HE has made the WORST decisions in the world. He seems to have no perception or intelligence. He has given my 15 yr old son to an ex-convict that still smokes pot.Who abused me mentally, emotionally and even physically a few times. He stripped me of child support and is making me pay child support when in 22 years I never supported the family. Favor females – I don’t think so, I am an attractive one and he HATES ME! He will not let me discover the hidden assets my husband has so now I will be left with NOTHING. He has been a judge here since 2001. Many have told me he was a bastard, but I NEVER thought for one moment that he would favor the bully and not the victim! I can’t relate to your story and if I had money for a lawyer I would get one – basically I am screwed and still in the middle of this case. I tried to adjourn and withdraw my petition for divorce because I am getting such a RAW deal and Judge Farber DENIED me! Can you believe that? I could go on and on with the discrepancies from this judge, all I have to say he has NOT favored me in the least and he damn well should have! The only reputation I know of is he is always a bastard to one of the sides!! In this case its the WRONG SIDE!!

  3. Hi Donna:

    That also apply to many other Sussex County Judges in the Corrupt Newton Superior Court..Perhaps the worst Court in the State,,Although Judge Deanne Wilson and Judge Karen Russell and Judge William Mc Govern are Fair and decent. as far as I am concerned Judge Farber new to the Bench is from the well connected “”DeCottis Law Firm””” Judge James A. Farber is as Corrupt a Judge and Stupid as you will find in all of New Jersey. Courts.He even reported to the New Jersey Supreme Court he was on Vacation when I was before him in Court.The records aew there Mr. Chief Justice or are you asleep too? Thomas Caggiano who fled the Corrupt State of New Jersey moved to Nevada to get the Hell away from a Newton Superior Court Judges will tell you Judge Pete Conforti gets the AWARD for the most Corrupt Judge In Sussex County..Bu Judge Conforti was fair to me..Seems there is no Balance in the Courts the Law is not “””Followed”””,as written and it has way too many loop holes.I Appealed Judge Farbers Decision to a Higher Court but Ran into yet more Corrupt Judges there,,,Hiz Onor “Bozo” Bozonellis and his Assistant Greg Lambart from the Appeals Court..And Phil Cartchman is just another Corrupt Judge..I appealed to the Judicial Advisory Committee in Trenton and Ran into the Idiot John Adler and my Senator Paul Sarleo was there during the hearings just reading his company business Contracts.. He never heard a word I said even when I asked for Him, He just keept leaving the Room to Call his Company where he is an Construction Engineer..Well he has a Big Pile of Crap to Move into now as Chair of the Judiciary Committee that’s for Sure..Paul Sarlo from my District is now the Chair of the Judiciary Committee and Paul Sarlo is not even an Attorney..How much Law does he Know?Maybe Next time Sen Paul Sarlo runs for re-election he will have a surprise..waiting for him like Sen John Adler.. One thing that made me Happy was Sen John Adler lost his Senate re-election bid from Cherry Hill so he took his Million Dollar Donation he had just received and left office a Lot Richer..John Adler is a Jewish Convert his wife is Jewish so Adler had to Convert to marry her that is the Custom.. I know because my Uncle also married a Jewish Lady..I said Hi to Sen John Alder in the Hallway after the Hearing and the “cry Baby shrimp Adler” called for help from the State Trooper at the Hallway Desk by the doorway..The State Trooper just rolled his eyes and said what now??I am on guard duty here Sen Adler as Adler zipped up his Fly comming from the mens room LOL.
    Adler just goes where the Money is $$$$..He is Pretty Corrupt..I am sick of all New Jersey Corrupt Politicians like Govenor Jim Mc Greevy the Homo and the many Corrupt Judges.. Ex Govenor Corzine was nothing but a Rich Wall StreeT FAT CAT no skiLLs in Politics,BUT HE NOMINATES THE UNQUALIFIED SUPREME COURT JUSTICE DEBBIE PORITZ WHO THEN INTERFERRED WITH NEW JERSEY STATE TROOPERS IN AN ARREST OF HER BOYFRIEND FOR A TRAFFIC VIOLATION.ON THE PARKWAY. NOW WE HAVE ANOTHER MILLIONAIRE SENATOR FRANK LAUTENBERG. LIKE big bucks JON CORZINE who was speeding on the Parkay to get to a basketball Game at Rutgers. WE HAVE IT HERE IN NEW JERSEY.. Judicial CORRUPTION TOP TO BOTTOM.and Political we have it all.
    I even called the FBI Special agent in Newark Weson Dunn …Guess what more corruption even from the FBI filed Office.. I could say more but I have to go throw up now..Oh FYI they got rid of FBI Agent Wesson Dunn recently he was sooo bad..You think there is only Political and Judicial corruption in Iraq guess again…
    Tony DiGiesi

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