WV: Manchin Corruption

NYTimes has a interesting article on Manchin and some corruption

Some points to article:

“When Gov. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia filed a friend-of-the-court brief in June arguing that the State Supreme Court should review a $382 million judgment against the DuPont Company, he said he was not taking sides, but acting in the interest of due process.

Gov. Joe Manchin III asked the State Supreme Court to consider Dupont’s appeal in the order to pay $382 million for dumping dangerous metals.Documents from the governor’s office, however, show that Mr. Manchin had consulted with the company before filing the brief, and DuPont officials say the governor even asked them to provide him with a draft brief.

The case involves thousands of residents in and around Spelter, W.Va., where DuPont operated a zinc-smelting plant. Last October, a jury in Harrison County ruled that DuPont deliberately endangered those residents by dumping toxic arsenic, cadmium and lead at the plant.

It was the first time a West Virginia governor had taken such action in a case in which the state was not a party, one expert said, and Mr. Manchin’s actions angered plaintiffs, who argued that the executive branch was inappropriately pressuring the judicial branch

Prof. Stephen Gillers, who teaches legal ethics at New York University School of Law, said it was unusual and inappropriate for the governor, instead of the attorney general, to get involved in such a case, and that after searching state court records, he could find no example of a similar intervention by a governor.

“It is not part of the court’s responsibility to consider the effect of the verdict on the economic climate,” Professor Gillers said. “Consequently, the governor should not be justifying his intervention or asking the court in this indirect way to consider the case for this reason.”

Very interesting article and if true it could really hurt Manchin who seems to be really popular and might of been a successor to one of the 2 US Senators in state.