Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 13, 2013

Panel sets interviews to replace 2 W.Va. judges


Associated Press

CHARLESTON — A state commission has scheduled interviews in December to replace two judges.

Following the Dec. 16 interviews, the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission will recommend candidates to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to replace former Mingo County Circuit Court Michael Thornsbury and Putnam County Family Court Judge William Watkins.

The Charleston Gazette reports that the commission set the date for interviews on Tuesday.

Thornsbury pleaded guilty in October to conspiring to deprive a man of his constitutional rights.

Watkins has notified Tomblin’s office that he will retire Nov. 30.

The West Virginia Supreme Court suspended Watkins without pay in March until the end of his term. The Judicial Investigation Commission had accused Watkins of delaying rulings, failing to enter domestic violence orders into the state’s tracking system and cursing at litigants.