The Political Graveyard: A Database of American History
Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace

Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace: West Virginia

in chronological order

William Wallace Barron William Wallace Barron (1911-2002) — also known as W. Wallace Barron; Wally Barron — of Elkins, Randolph County, W.Va. Born in Elkins, Randolph County, W.Va., December 8, 1911. Democrat. Lawyer; served in the U.S. Army during World War II; mayor of Elkins, W.Va., 1949-50; member of West Virginia state house of delegates from Randolph County, 1951-53; resigned 1953; West Virginia state attorney general; elected 1956; Governor of West Virginia, 1961-65. Presbyterian. Member, Freemasons; Shriners; Elks; Moose; Civitan; Odd Fellows; Knights of Pythias; American Bar Association; American Judicature Society; American Legion; Forty and Eight. Convicted of jury tampering in 1971, and sentenced to five years in prison. Died in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, N.C., November 12, 2002 (age 90 years, 339 days). Interment at Maplewood Cemetery, Elkins, W.Va.
  Relatives: Son of Rev. Frederick H. Barron and Mary (Butler) Barron; married, February 15, 1936, to Opal B. Wilcox (1914-2010).
  Cross-reference: Curtis B. Trent, Jr.
  See also Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Image source: West Virginia Blue Book 1951
  W. Bernard Smith (b. 1930) — of Logan, Logan County, W.Va. Born in Logan, Logan County, W.Va., September 7, 1930. Democrat. Lawyer; member of West Virginia state senate 7th District, 1969-72; removed 1972. Member, American Bar Association; Elks; Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Expelled from West Virginia State Senate, January 27, 1972. Still living as of 1972.
  Relatives: Son of B. H. Smith and Dolly (Chafin) Smith; married to DeLena A. Powell.
  James E. Roark (b. 1945) — also known as Mike Roark; "Mad Dog" — of Charleston, Kanawha County, W.Va. Born in Nitro, Kanawha County, W.Va., 1945. Republican. Served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War; lawyer; mayor of Charleston, W.Va., 1983-87; resigned 1987. Indicted in August, 1987, on felony charges of possessing and distributing cocaine, and conspiring to obstruct the investigation by inducing a witness to commit perjury; pleaded guilty to misdemeanors in November, and resigned as mayor. Still living as of 1987.
  Nick Joe Rahall II (b. 1949) — of Beckley, Raleigh County, W.Va. Born in Beckley, Raleigh County, W.Va., May 20, 1949. Democrat. Staff assistant to U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd, 1972-74; director of Rahall Communications, family business, owning radio and TV stations; delegate to Democratic National Convention from West Virginia, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008; U.S. Representative from West Virginia, 1977-2012 (4th District 1977-93, 3rd District 1993-2012); arrested in California for drunk driving, 1988. Presbyterian. Lebanese ancestry. Member, Rotary; Elks; Moose; Eagles; NAACP; National Rifle Association; Freemasons; Shriners. Still living as of 2014.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — votes in Congress from the Washington Post — NNDB dossier
  Antonio James Manchin (1927-2003) — also known as A. James Manchin — of Farmington, Marion County, W.Va. Born in Farmington, Marion County, W.Va., April 7, 1927. Democrat. School teacher; athletic coach; member of West Virginia state house of delegates, 1949-50, 1999-2003; defeated, 1950; alternate delegate to Democratic National Convention from West Virginia, 1952; secretary of state of West Virginia, 1976-84; West Virginia state treasurer, 1985-89; resigned 1989. Catholic. Italian ancestry. Following the disclosure of losses from the State Consolidated Investment Fund and accusations of mismanagement in the State Treasurer's office, the House of Delegates, in 1989, brought impeachment charges against him, but he resigned as State Treasurer before a trial could be held. Died, following a heart attack, in Fairmont General Hospital, Fairmont, Marion County, W.Va., November 3, 2003 (age 76 years, 210 days). Interment at Odd Fellows Cemetery, Farmington, W.Va.
  Relatives: Son of Joseph Manchin, Sr. and Kathleen (Rosco) Manchin; married 1951 to Stella Machel; father of Mark Anthony Manchin (1948?-); uncle of Joseph Manchin III and Timothy J. Manchin.
  Political family: Manchin family of Farmington and Fairmont, West Virginia.
  See also Wikipedia article
  Arch Alfred Moore, Jr. (1923-2015) — also known as Arch A. Moore, Jr. — of Moundsville, Marshall County, W.Va.; Glen Dale, Marshall County, W.Va. Born in Moundsville, Marshall County, W.Va., April 16, 1923. Republican. Served in the U.S. Army during World War II; lawyer; member of West Virginia state house of delegates from Marshall County, 1953-54; U.S. Representative from West Virginia 1st District, 1957-69; defeated, 1954; alternate delegate to Republican National Convention from West Virginia, 1960, 1972; member of Republican National Committee from West Virginia, 1963-73; Governor of West Virginia, 1969-77, 1985-89; defeated, 1980, 1988; candidate for U.S. Senator from West Virginia, 1978. Methodist. Member, American Bar Association; American Legion; Forty and Eight; Veterans of Foreign Wars; Moose; Eagles; Elks; Rotary; Phi Delta Phi; Beta Theta Pi. Pleaded guilty in 1990 to five felonies, over findings that he had accepted illegal contributions to his 1984 and 1988 election campaigns, had extorted over $500,000 from a coal company, and obstructed the investigation; served two years and eight months in prison. Died in Charleston, Kanawha County, W.Va., January 7, 2015 (age 91 years, 266 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Arch A. Moore and Genevieve (Jones) Moore; married, August 11, 1949, to Shelley S. Riley; father of Shelley Moore Capito (1953-).
  Cross-reference: Wade H. Ballard III
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier
  James D. Brackenrich (b. 1936) — also known as J. D. Brackenrich — of Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, W.Va. Born in Greenbrier County, W.Va., January 23, 1936. Democrat. Engineer; surveyor; member of West Virginia state senate 11th District, 1987-93; resigned 1993. Baptist. Member, Freemasons; Elks; National Rifle Association. Pleaded guilty on May 1, 1996 to a misdemeanor charge of filling wetlands without a Clean Water Act permit. Still living as of 1996.
  Relatives: Son of James Brackenrich and Helen Brackenrich; married 1958 to Patricia Griffith.
  Robert Ellsworth Wise, Jr. (b. 1948) — also known as Bob Wise — of Charleston, Kanawha County, W.Va.; Clendenin, Kanawha County, W.Va.; Washington, D.C. Born in Washington, D.C., January 6, 1948. Democrat. Lawyer; member of West Virginia state senate 17th District, 1981-82; resigned 1982; U.S. Representative from West Virginia, 1983-2001 (3rd District 1983-93, 2nd District 1993-2001); delegate to Democratic National Convention from West Virginia, 1996, 2000, 2004; Governor of West Virginia, 2001-05. Member, American Bar Association. In 2003, he was accused of having an extramarital affair with a married female state employee; he admitted the affair, and dropped his campaign for re-election. Still living as of 2014.
  Relatives: Married, July 28, 1984, to Sandra Casber.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — votes in Congress from the Washington Post — Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier
  Donald L. Blankenship (b. 1950) — also known as Don Blankenship — of Sprigg, Mingo County, W.Va. Born in Stopover, Pike County, Ky., March 14, 1950. Accountant; coal mining executive; chairman and CEO of Massey Energy, 2000-10; in April 2010, an explosion at the company's Upper Big Branch coal mine killed 29 miners; convicted on a charge of conspiring to violate mine safety standards; served one year in prison; Constitution candidate for President of the United States, 2020. Still living as of 2020.
  See also Wikipedia article — Ballotpedia article — OurCampaigns candidate detail
Emmett Pugh Emmett S. Pugh III — of Beckley, Raleigh County, W.Va. Mayor of Beckley, W.Va., 1988-2013. In April 2012, he was accused, in two complaints filed with the West Virginia Ethics Commission, of accepting improper gifts, including shares of development firms, in return for free use of city resources; without admitting guilt, he agreed to retire as mayor, and repay the cost of the investigation. Still living as of 2014.
  Image source: The State Journal, April 4, 2012
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