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West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission admonishes magistrates for their part in ‘Santa-Gate’

By Steven Allen Adams, The Inter-Mountain

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission admonished two former Pleasants County magistrates Monday for their part in an effort to dismiss serious criminal charges in exchange for donations to a Christmas gift program.

Former Pleasants County magistrates Randy Nutter and Lisa Taylor received public admonishments Monday after cooperating with a JIC investigation into their participation in the Slow Down for the Holiday’s program. Both former magistrates agreed to resign and never seek public office again for any judicial positions.

“By dismissing criminal charges in exchange for donations to a charitable organization, (Nutter and Taylor) created the appearance of selling justice,” wrote 19th Circuit Court Judge Alan Motes, chairman of the JIC.

Pleasants County Prosecuting Attorney Brian Carr confirmed last week that his office is under investigation for its part in the Slow Down for the Holiday’s program. Started 10 years ago by the St. Marys Police Department to dismiss minor traffic citations in exchange for donations of $50 gift cards or the equivalent of $50 in toys, the Pleasants County Prosecutor’s Office and the Pleasants County Sheriff’s Department got involved in 2018…

To read more: https://www.theintermountain.com/news/local-news/2021/09/jic-admonishes-magistrates-for-their-part-in-santa-gate/

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