ELKINS, W.Va. — Admitted liaisons including oral sex in judicial chambers and other explicit details about an affair between a Randolph County judge and a former county corrections employee have resulted in charges by the state Judicial Investigation Commission for alleged ethics violations.
Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong of the 20th Judicial Circuit Court is named in the formal statement by the JIC, which also alleges discipline is appropriate based upon probable cause findings No. 1 through No. 34. as outlined in its extensive 10-page filing with the state Supreme Court of Appeals.
At the heart of the charges is Judge Wilfong’s admitted intimate relationship with Travis Carter while he was the director of the North Central Community Corrections program. The JIC received five formal complaints, including one self-report from Wilfong, about she and Carter’s affair that reportedly lasted at least two years.
Wilfong officially responded to the complaints and wrote in her 27-page submission to the JIC, “I admit, with reluctance, that I performed oral sex on William Travis Carter, prior to October of 2012, while he was in my office on three or less times.”
She further wrote, “I admit, with reluctance, that I sent sexually explicit e-mails, texts, instant messages and nude photos of my breasts to William Travis Carter.”
The JIC documents reveal Wilfong’s law clerk, Mary Catherine Wendekier, Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker, attorney Christopher Cooper and Community Corrections board members R. Mike Mullens, Heather Weese, Raymond LaMora and David Wilmoth all filed complaints in addition to the judge’s self-report.
Throughout her answer to the charges, Wilfong stresses several times that Carter never testified in open court during the breadth of their relationship. The judge does admit to taking comments from Carter on cases, but in an unofficial capacity. Approximately 46 criminal cases are in question, where testimony – either sworn or unsworn – was offered by Carter or members of his staff.
Wilfong further apologizes for the affair in her answer to the JIC, writing, “I want people to recognize that I am a human being, subject to their same frailties; being circuit judge does not exempt me. It was those frailties that permitted me to become involved in a relationship I knew in my heart was wrong. I have disappointed my husband, Matt Wilfong, my family, Travis Carter’s family and his wife and I have certainly disappointed those people who elected me as their Circuit Judge.”
The Judge goes on to express that the relationship never affected her ability or decision-making skills on the bench…