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Judicial Investigation Commission issues charges against Raleigh County Family Court judge

BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) A family court judge covering Raleigh and Wyoming counties was charged with violating multiple rules in the Judicial Code of Conduct on September 23, 2020.

The charges relate to visits the judge made to the homes of people involved in cases before her court.

See charges here:

According to the statement of charges, Judge Louise E. Goldston violated several rules -- including compliance with the law, confidence in the judiciary, avoiding abuse of prestige of office, impartiality and fairness, external influences, competence, diligence, and cooperation, and extrajudicial activities in general.

The complaint stems from a divorce cases involving a federal law enforcement officer, Matthew Gibson, on March 18, 2020.

The statement said the initial investigation involved a complaint that the officer had failed to turn over property ordered by the court. At a hearing involving the matter, the complaint said Judge Goldston asked the parties to meet at the officer's house without any reason given.

"Once everyone arrived at Gibson's home and the purpose of the visit became clear, Mr. Gibson moved to recuse respondent (Goldston) on the ground that she had become a potential witness in the case."

"Mr. Gibson then verbally refused to allow respondent or anyone else in the house without a search warrant. Respondent threatened to put Mr. Gibson in jail if he denied them entry to the house. Mr. Gibson felt he had no choice but to relent."

The statement of charges said Goldston admitted to making home visits on eleven different occasions, but could not provide any statute giving her the authority to do so.

Goldston has 30 days to file a response to the charges.


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