On Monday, March 27, 2023, the West Virginia Record reported that two West Virginia Family Court judges, namely Deanna Rock and Glen Stotler, both from the 23rd Family Court Circuit that covers Mineral, Morgan, and Hampshire counties in the Eastern Panhandle, are now facing charges for allegedly conspiring to help the now-retired colleague, Family Court Judge Louise Goldston, to avoid prosecution.

Judge Goldston stepped down from the bench in the midst of ongoing impeachment proceedings following her warrantless search of a man named Matt Gibson in relation to a marital property proceeding concerning Gibson and his ex-wife. During the divorce hearing, Judge Goldston told the parties to meet at Gibson’s house. Once there, Goldston led a search of the man’s home without a warrant.  Judge Goldston threatened Gibson to have him arrested when he started recording the incident.

Gibson then reported Judge Goldston to the state Judicial Investigation Commission, which charged her with violating the state Code of Judicial Conduct. According to reports, Gibson also brought a federal lawsuit against the judge, the Raleigh County Commission, and three other sheriff’s deputies related to the incident for violating his rights.

While the proceedings are in motion, Judge Goldston decided to resign, a week after a resolution was introduced asking the House Judiciary Committee to investigate allegations of impeachable offenses against her.

Following the retirement of Judge Goldston, the Judicial Investigation Commission started to investigate charges against two of the former’s colleague judges (Rock and Stotler). It was alleged that, through a letter, Judge Stotler stated that the Supreme Court should fire the prosecutors who handle the case of Goldston from the state’s Judicial Disciplinary Counsel. Judge Stotler also wanted to fire Family Court Judge Erick Shuck for his poor treatment of their former colleague. Judge Stotler wrote that Goldston was forced into making agreements during questioning by state officials through intimidation and deception. In response, the state Office of Disciplinary Counsel found those claims to be untrue.

The JIC later found that Judge Stotler isn’t the only one who drafted the letter. The former brought the name of J.R. Campbell, Stotler’s family court coordinator who allegedly wrote the first draft of the letter before Stotler and Rock made the changes.


Source: West Virginia Record