W.Va. Supreme Court Justice Menis Ketchum to resign 2 years before term ends

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says state Supreme Court Justice Menis Ketchum plans to resign and retire two years before his term ends.

Justice says in a news release he received a letter from Ketchum that he would step down effective July 27.

The statement gave no reason for Ketchum's retirement, which comes at a time of turmoil for the court.

Justice Allen Loughry pleaded not guilty in federal court last month to multiple counts involving alleged fraud. He was suspended over allegations he repeatedly lied about using his office for personal gain.

A legislative audit in April found Ketchum ignored mandatory reporting guidelines for personal use of state-owned vehicles.

Ketchum didn't immediately return a telephone message left by the Associated Press on Wednesday.

He was elected to a 12-year term in 2008.