“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Justice Tim Armstead, when speaking about his appointment and subsequent election to a seat on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals during remarks made at the June WVSAE meeting at the Marriott Town Center Hotel.

The worst thing he found was the loss of trust in the Supreme Court, but he said, “We’re coming out the other side now, being more open and responsive.”

Armstead said the justices asked themselves, “What do you do first?”  He said the justices had to identify the causes of the problems facing the Court.  “There were no policies for common sense things like taking office furniture home or using state cars for personal business,” he explained, adding that policies are only as good as the people who follow them.

“We have policies in place to enhance transparency now and in the future,” he said.  “We’re working to re-establish relationships with West Virginia court personnel at all levels and we’re going out to the public, like this meeting today.  We’re holding court around the state so people can see what we do.”

“We’ve even reduced our budget,” he said.

Armstead said he was surprised by the number of abuse and neglect cases facing the Court.  “Our Court is caught up,” he explained.  “We can’t allow those kids to languish in bad situations while the Court is backlogged.”

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