23 January 2008

Spike and Don: The Saga Continues

The recusal by Supreme Court Chief Justice Elliott "Spike" Maynard from a case involving Massey Energy Co. has not ended the ruckus over his ties to its head honcho, Don Blankenship.

Fellow Justice Larry Starcher has demanded a probe into ‘‘extremely serious legal and ethical issues’’ about their dealings, The Associated Press reports.

Starcher reveals that he and perhaps court officials have been fielding allegations about their relationship for "the past year." Possible evidence goes beyond the photos of their 2006 Monaco meet-up, he writes in a Tuesday memo.

Providing no details, and conceding the information remains unproven, Starcher also said he is prepared to share what he knows with investigators.

"The reported information raises questions about whether there may have been actual rather than the appearance of impropriety,'' Starcher wrote. "I also believe that some of the alleged matters raise issues that are within the jurisdiction of authorities other than those directly associated with this Court.''

Starcher himself has weathered allegations of a less-than-impartial attitude in the case. Massey has cited his public comments critical of the company, Blankenship and some of his political activities.

The Charleston Gazette also has a story. Public Broadcasting has it as well, and also offers audio and a link to Starcher's memo.

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