The governor of West Virginia recently encountered an unexpected issue when a bank attempted to garnish his salaries. According to it, it is attempting to hide a judgment against one of his firms; however, the governor claims it is merely a political gimmick.
Citizens Bank of West Virginia submitted a garnishment request to the Randolph County Circuit Court on March 21. That’s not all that unusual, but the person the bank was targeting with this request—the prominent businessman and governor Jim Justice (R) of the state—was.
One of his businesses, Bluestone Resources, Inc., took out a bank loan for $2.8 million but then missed payments. The bank obtained a $861,085 court judgment from Bluestone in October 2022; this sum includes the outstanding balance as well as interest and legal fees.
A bank has taken legal action to garnish the wages of Gov. Jim Justice to pay off an $850,000 civil judgment against one of his coal interests. https://t.co/z3drZ4LkUV— The Herald-Dispatch (@heralddispatch) March 29, 2023
According to the bank, Justice, who is thought to be worth more than $500 million personally, personally guaranteed the loan. In an effort to collect the remaining $30,000, it is now attempting to garnish 20% of his $150,000 monthly pay as governor. No debts are listed as due against Justice in his 2022 annual financial declaration,
Reporters questioned Justice on March 29 over the bank’s application. “I hate this. I don’t even know anything about it,” he answered, adding that he hadn’t received any notifications and had only learned of the issue that day.
He said that after talking to his son, who oversees Bluestone, the business was “in the process” of settling the debt. Additionally, he claimed that the garnish application is a “political grandstand” and a retaliatory measure.
Justice claimed that he is only acting as a guarantor and has no personal debt. That might have an impact on the bank’s application, but even if the garnishment is approved, Justice will probably come out on top. He donates the entire salary the bank is attempting to confiscate to a nearby educational nonprofit instead of taking it himself.