Clean Up W.Va. Waste, Corruption

It turns out the worst swamp may not be in Washington. A regular quicksand pit seems to exist in Charleston, where corruption, waste and incompetence have become habitual.

State Supreme Court justices who cheat taxpayers, a $150 million flood relief program that can’t seem to help victims, active conflicts of interest in the Commerce Department and hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent paid for a building state government had vacated already were on the list of misbehavior this week.

Then, on Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice revealed a state agency allowed a company to miss 79 payments on a taxpayer-funded loan, potentially costing the state more than $1.5 million.

The firm, Corotoman Inc., had borrowed $3 million through the state to buy an office building. A tenant has been occupying the structure and paying rent. Yet Corotoman owes the state $1.539 million in back payments on the loan.

And apparently, no one in state government thought something ought to be done about that.

Action is being taken to recover the money, Justice said. The situation is being investigated by the State Police.

How could this happen? More important, how do fiascoes such as this keep occurring on a regular basis in state government?

What is wrong with these people? Why haven’t we done anything about it?

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