BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 10:15 a.m. March 9, 2020 UPDATE: Raleigh County Magistrate Stephen Massie has requested a hearing over the issue of his temporary suspension without pay. The request to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals came through his counsel, John F. McCuskey of McCuskey, Shuman & Slicer PLLC.
The court set the date for oral arguments on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Magistrate Massie’s counsel must file a brief with the court on or before March 27. The Judicial Disciplinary Counsel is required to file brief by April 17 or within 20 days of the brief being filed by Massie’s counsel.
Massie was suspended without pay on March 6, 2020 following an order issued by the Honorable Tim Armstead, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals.
11:45 p.m. March. 6, 2020 UPDATE: Raleigh County Magistrate Stephen Massie was suspended without pay.
According to court documents filed by the Supreme Court of West Virginia, a motion to suspend Massie without pay was presented by the Judicial Investigation Commission to the Honorable Tim Armstead, Chief Justice of the West Virginia the Supreme Court of Appeals. After considering the motion, the Court found probable cause to believe Massie violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.
The Court ordered Massie to be suspended without pay, effective March 6, 2020. Court documents state he can no longer hear civil or criminal matter, or perform any other judicial functions for the rest of the disciplinary proceedings.
Massie has the right to request a hearing on his suspension. The case now goes back to the Judicial Investigation Commission.
5 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019 UPDATE: On Thursday afternoon, an additional statement regarding the case was released by Magistrate Massie and his Attorneys. That statement reads as follows:
Magistrate Massie absolutely denies that he has done anything improper, and we are confident that after a FULL investigation and hearing on the facts that he will be exonerated of the rule violations. He can’t comment any further pending the final hearing. These matters seem politically motivated and arising out of his activities supporting Veterans and his Church ministries. He will continue to diligently and faithfully serve the people of Raleigh County while he also seeks re-election in 2020.Magistrate Massie and his attorneys
ORIGINAL STORY (2:03 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019): A local magistrate judge is facing rule violations after an investigation by the Judicial Investigation Commission (JIC).
According to documents filed in the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, the JIC unanimously found probable cause to charge Raleigh County Magistrate Stephen Massie with violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
Documents state, the commission found probable cause to believe Magistrate Massie engaged in a pattern and practice of lying, using his public office for private gain, engaging in activities that interfered with the proper performance of judicial duties; and participating in activities that would appear to undermine his independence, integrity and/or impartiality.
59 News reached out to Judge Massie on the allegations, he released the following statement:
“On the alleged rule violations, when we have the opportunity to have a hearing on the alleged rule violations, I am confident they will be explained and cleared.”Raleigh County Magistrate Stephen Massie
Stick with 59 News as we continue to follow this developing story.