CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry received nearly $21,000 from the state in the late 1990s to pay for a graduate law degree at American University while he worked for the West Virginia Attorney General.
The payments were among those recently highlighted in a legislative audit of the office’s finances under previous Attorney General Darrell McGraw. The audit found those payments may not have been taxed appropriately.
The audit, provided to state lawmakers Tuesday, states more than $54,000 in employee educational expenses were reimbursed without the program meeting Internal Revenue Service standards. One auditor said at least 10 such payments were found.
There was nothing in writing to establish who was eligible for education assistance or even to show the program existed, according to the audit.
“No one could provide us one and no one told us that there was one — we asked,” said Legislative Auditor Aaron Allred, whose staff has worked on auditing the attorney general’s office under McGraw’s leadership since at least June.
Jacque Bland, spokeswoman for current Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, said in-office attempts to track down documentation also have been unsuccessful.
Loughry, a Republican who won a seat on the Supreme Court in 2012, started working for then-Attorney General McGraw in late 1997 and left in May 2003. He acknowledged using the money for his degree, but said the program was common knowledge in the office and open to everyone…