W.Va. SC won't cut acting gov's pay

Jessica M. Karmasek Mar. 24, 2011, 10:15am


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - The West Virginia Supreme Court says it will not order state Auditor Glen Gainer to stop paying Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin a governor's salary.

The Court entered its order on Wednesday, days after New Martinsville lawyer H. John Rogers filed a lawsuit arguing that it is unconstitutional for Tomblin to receive the governor's $150,000 salary and other perks of the office.

The lawyer, on behalf of The Christian Patriotic Front, petitioned the Court to bar Gainer from paying Tomblin in a filing received by the state's high court on Friday.

"At most, Mr. Tomblin might be entitled to compensation at an hourly rate" for time spent acting as governor, Rogers said in the filing. "The State Auditor has no legal authority to determine on his own who the employees of the State are and what is the correct rate of pay."

Rogers also argued that Tomblin can't draw the governor's salary, occupy the office in the Capitol or live in the Governor's Mansion without an act of the Legislature allowing him to do so.

"His 'day job,' as it were, is to serve as Senate president, and that is the only salary to which he is legally entitled," the lawyer said in his filing.

The Court, in its one-page order, says it "retains the discretion to refuse" Rogers' "extraordinary remedy of prohibition."

To read the entire article, visit the West Virginia Record.

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