By Ken Ward, Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — On a sunny Monday afternoon two and a half years ago, Jim Justice, the wealthiest man in West Virginia, took the oath of office as the state’s 36th governor.
Standing at the base of the Capitol steps in Charleston, he assured his fellow West Virginians that his vast business empire of coal mines, vacation resorts and agricultural companies — many of them regulated by the state agencies he would soon control — posed no conflicts with his new job.
“I want absolutely nothing. Nothing,” Justice said. “I don’t want a thing for me or my family in any way. All I want is goodness for this incredible state and its incredible people.”
Hours later, the new governor held his inaugural ball, not at a Charleston hotel or the local civic center, as his predecessors long had, but at The Greenbrier, a palatial resort 120 miles from the Capitol. …