CHARLESTON – West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Larry Starcher has accused his colleagues of ignoring facts to win Moose Lodge votes.
He wrote that they made the Martinsburg Moose Lodge look like Good Samaritans and made the state tax commissioner look like a bad guy.
He wrote, "Nothing could be further from the truth."
A Court majority ruled in June that the tax commissioner did not have the right to take away the Moose Lodge's charitable raffle license.
Starcher wrote that the Moose Lodge "... routinely conducted gambling operations without having a license to do so, in plain violation of state law."
He wrote that when investigators entered, employees dumped tickets into trash cans, grabbed trash bags from cans and hustled them out the back door.
He wrote that an employee said, "The Moose Lodge was going broke and needed the money."
He wrote that the Moose Lodge agreed to an order of the tax commissioner for a payment of $81,018, but the Moose Lodge never paid.
He wrote that according to the majority, the Moose Lodge could ignore the payment because the tax commissioner coerced it.
"This is surprising," he wrote.
He suggested the Court might set aside a plea agreement with a fine or jail time if a prosecutor coerced it.
He wrote, "But then, Moose Lodge members vote; most other law-breakers don't."
He wrote that the majority started with a politically appealing result, "and then fumbled around to make up some reasoning to support that result."
Starcher also wrote a short dissent from a Court decision that Eastern Associated Coal did not treat employee Reggie Lee Philyaw in a reprehensible and outrageous fashion.
Starcher wrote that Eastern expected Philyaw to keep dust data within legal limits or lose his job.
He wrote that, "... according to Philyaw's evidence, Philyaw was directed to skew the reported data ..."
He wrote, "Is demanding that an employee improperly subject his fellow employees to unsafe conditions outrageous and intolerable? I submit that this is at least a jury question."
Albright joined in the Philyaw dissent.