January 9, 2019

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Latest News, West Virginia

DGA Files Public Records Request Seeking Information About Jim Justice’s Business Dealings and Tax Delinquencies of Affiliated Companies

Justice Announced Re-Election Bid Monday, But Hasn’t Come Clean on Ethics Scandal

Today, the Democratic Governors Association sent public information requests for records of emails and communications from West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s office pertaining to the scandal surrounding unpaid penalties and tax delinquency of companies affiliated with Governor Justice and his son.

In August 2018, West Virginia media reported on a backroom deal seemingly designed to reduce and absolve Justice-affiliated companies of the delinquent taxes due to West Virginia. Meanwhile, Justice-affiliated companies remain delinquent on property taxes in Kentucky, owing more than $2 million.

Justice announced Monday that he was running for re-election. But he has not yet answered key questions about his potential use of the governorship to resolve the tax delinquencies of these affiliated companies.

In two FOIA requests filed today, the DGA is seeking records that might reveal any communications or meetings that prompted or facilitated this deal. The first request is to the Office of the Governor seeking records to and from the following:

  • State Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy
  • Deputy Revenue Secretary Allen Prunty
  • Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow
  • Managing Deputy Revenue Secretary Douglas P. Buffington II
  • Jay Justice
  • Larry Puccio
  • Charles Henthorn

The second request is to the Department of Revenue seeking records of communications or meetings between senior government officials and individuals who may have represented the interests of Justice-related entities. The DGA is also requesting copies of delinquent tax records, warning notices, fines, and other enforcement documents related to business entities tied to Gov. Justice, including but not limited to:

  • Justice Family Group LLC
  • Justice Family Corp
  • Justice Holdings LLC
  • Tam’s Management, Inc.
  • Greenbrier Hotel Corporation

“West Virginia voters have serious questions about whether Jim Justice is using his power for the benefit of these companies,” said Democratic Governors Association Communications Director Jared Leopold. “While companies linked to Gov. Justice were mounting millions in tax debt, struggling schools cut staff due to budget shortfalls and the vast majority of West Virginians figured out how to pay their taxes on time. With Justice running for another term, West Virginians deserve full transparency on whether he used his office to help these companies get out of paying their taxes.”