West Virginia Named America’s Most Corrupt City, Again

West Virginia boasts a rich history, diverse culture, and breathtaking natural beauty. However, it grapples with a long-standing history of corruption, scandals, and abuses of power. According to a recent report by the Center for Public Integrity, West Virginia holds the unfortunate distinction of being the most corrupt state in the nation, based on indicators such as public access to information, ethics enforcement, political financing, and judicial accountability.

The Supreme Court Scandal

A glaring example of corruption unfolded within West Virginia’s highest court, the Supreme Court of Appeals, in 2018. Impeachment proceedings were initiated against all four remaining justices for their extravagant spending of taxpayer money on office renovations, personal travel, and other luxuries.

Justice Robin Davis, in particular, spent exorbitant amounts on her office, including a $20,000 rug, a $32,000 couch, and an $8,000 desk chair. The scandal exposed a lack of oversight and transparency in the state’s judicial branch, leading to a constitutional amendment granting more control over the court’s budget to the legislature.

The State Police Scandal

West Virginia’s police force faced shocking allegations, including installing hidden cameras, theft from a casino vault, kidnapping and rape, framing innocent people, and engaging in racial profiling. Whistleblowers within the State Police highlighted these issues, accusing the leadership of suppressing complaints. The scandal prompted extensive investigations and civil lawsuits, revealing corruption, misconduct, and impunity within the state’s law enforcement agency.

Political Corruption

The political sphere in West Virginia has been marred by corruption, scandals, and abuses of power. Over the last four decades, governors, senate presidents, and various officials faced charges ranging from bribery to tax evasion. Notable cases include Governor Arch Moore’s admission to accepting illegal payments and Governor Jim Justice’s federal lawsuit for unpaid taxes. The political corruption has eroded the state government’s integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness, contributing to poor performance in social, economic, and environmental indicators.


While West Virginia holds immense potential, corruption remains a significant impediment to progress. From the judiciary to law enforcement and politics, the state grapples with challenges that affect public interest and confidence. Preventing, exposing, and punishing corruption requires enhanced accountability, transparency, and citizen participation. Only with these measures can West Virginia truly embody its motto: Montani Semper Liberi, or Mountaineers Are Always Free.

Leave a Comment