Steve Canterbury the administrative director of the West Virginia Supreme Court called the Supreme Commander of the Central West Virginia Secret Seven Coalition Dan Bingman at home the first week in March of 2013 and wanted to know who should get credit for taking down Judge Watkins, and the reply was …
“Mark Halburn and Troy Sexton get first billing along with Lawrence Smith from the West Virginia Record, and then I have been contacting ALL the networks for the last SIX months, making contacts and submitting story idea’s and some to regional news outlets as well”
Mr Bingman then explained to chief executive of the WV Supreme Court Canterbury that we if we had NOT gotten Watkins in front of a national audience there would have been no punishment, since Canterbury already said the judge was CONTRITE after the broadcast. The issue had to be forced later, since the JIC was initially going to do nothing about the misconduct of the judge caught on tape. So now, after it ALL is said and done, a new and unique victory has been achieved by the exposure on national news and exposing corruption is the main function of the Central WV SS. They have been doing a damn good job of it since 2006 in WV, and have many victories. The public humiliation of Judge Watkins in front of a grateful nation is just one of the many SS Victories that are now history.
“Contrite” was not enough for the Central West Virginia Secret Seven Coalition a citizens action group and advocates for a better West Virginia, so additional complaints were filed against Judge Chip Watkins and now the punishment phase begins!”
Watkins Gets Four-Year Suspension
Putnam County Screamer Kicked Off His Bench
By Mark Hallburn
The hammer has dropped.William M. Watkins, III
Putnam County Family Court Judge William M. “Chip” Watkins, III, has been suspended-without pay-through December 31st, 2016, the remainder of his current term.
In an opinion authored by Justice Menis E. Ketchum, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals affirmed the four-year suspension recommendation of a special disciplinary hearing board.
During the November 27th, 2012 hearing, Watkins admitted to 24 counts of wrongdoing-then was rude to PutnamLIVE.com Publisher Mark Hallburn who addressed Watkins and told him to “Turn around and face me like a man.” Instead, Watkins pitched a fit, letting the hearing board see that Watkins’ apologies on the witness stand had little, if any, effect on his behavior.
“Watkins’ apologies were obviously coached,” says Hallburn. “He was rude to Bob Harper, he was rude to me, and the disciplinary board saw right through him. The four-year-suspension is a start. What we need now is complete court reform, including a Civilian Review Board. For the Supreme Court to leave Watkins in office for 118 days after his admissions of wrongdoing is grounds to impeach all of them and start over with real justices.
Watkins made headlines across the country and across “the pond” when he screamed at Hurricane Bible Church Pastor Arthur D. Hage, in court, May 23rd, 2012.
PutnamLIVE.com first published the video, and West Virginia Supreme Court Administrator refused to punish Watkins-until the screams became the talk of law offices and courts around the world. Hage was not available for comment about Watkins’ four-year suspension.
However, Robert R. Harper, of Sissonville, another Watkins courtroom victim, has plenty to say.
“He’s the one that started it,” says Harper. “He made it personal with me, he made it personal with every other person that went before him. Watkins thought he was better than God, and that he was the God of Putnam County. I just have one question: ‘Hey Chip, now that you have to pay this big fine, do you want to sell your dog to help pay the fine?’ It’s not over.”
PutnamLIVE.com then published more videos of Watkins rages, and Canterbury and the Judicial Investigation Commission finally took Watkins’ misconduct seriously-filing charges.
However, Watkins has not been charged with the allegations made in complaints filed by Margaret Farmer and Troy Sexton-who were not allowed to speak to Watkins at the disciplinary hearing.
The JIC has not commented, but, it is assumed that the agency felt those charges were not necessary considering the punishment already faced by Watkins.
“He did it to himself,” says Harper. “He can’t blame us. It was Watkins and his big mouth that did him in. And I’m happy.”
The whole ordeal started after PutnamLIVE.com published this article about Watkins threatening free-lance reporter Lawrence W. Smith after Smith telephoned Watkins about being listed as “not in good standing” by his homeowner’s association. Watkins falsely blamed a stunned Hage for the photo of Watkins’ home. The judge also wrote a rather rude letter to Hallburn, who filed a complaint with the JIC.
The rest, including Watkins, is history.
GO GREEN: PutnamLIVE.com is only available online. We do not publish a paper edition in order to protect the environment. Please do not print this article unless it is necessary!
Link to Original PutnamLive.com article below: