Documents Contradict Loughry Denials in Couchgate Affair

Documents obtained by WCHS television reporter Kennie Bass directly contradict what West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Allen Loughry has publicly said about his knowledge of and involvement in the renovation of his office.

In November last year, Bass reported on extensive renovations to the West Virginia Supreme Court, including $363,013.43 to renovate Loughry’s chambers.

That included the now infamous $32,000 blue suede couch and a $7,500 wooden map of the state of West Virginia cut into Loughry’s office floor.

Loughry said then and reiterated to Bass this week that he had “no knowledge of the inflated and outrageous expenditures on furniture items such as the couch” and that “any insinuation to the contrary is simply dishonest.”

Loughry pinned the blame on former Supreme Court administrative director Steve Canterbury.

Canterbury said that it was Loughry calling the shots.

But Bass obtained emails documenting Loughry’s knowledge of the renovations.

“On May 21, 2013 a meeting was scheduled to discuss construction cost estimates for Loughry’s chambers,” Bass reported. “The document was very detailed, with line items for each aspect of the project.”

“On May 23, 2013, Loughry was sent shop drawings for his requested custom wood cabinets and wall panels. The construction estimate was $117,634 for the customized cabinets and office woodwork that he asked for.”

Canterbury told Bass that “Loughry was very specific about what he wanted.”

“Two weeks later we see drawings and pictures of the now infamous wood medallion of West Virginia,” Bass said. “Loughry told us it was a surprise offering to him from Canterbury.”

“Mr. Canterbury was in charge of these expenditures,” Loughry told Bass last year.

“But Eyewitness news obtained this drawing made by Mr. Loughry himself which outlines the floor plan for his office,” Bass reported.  “Loughry included detailed notes about what he wanted and where he wanted it. The drawing shows where a hidden television would be placed on the wall and where a hidden refrigerator would stand.”

“Loughry kept a very close eye on the progress of the floor medallion. On June 29, 2013, Loughry sent an email at 1:05 am which went into great detail about his vision about what the final product should look like.”

“He was vitally involved with every single aspect of his office remodeling, including the floor where he drew this up for what he wanted,” Canterbury told Bass. “He couldn’t have been more involved. He knew what things cost.”

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