CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- The State Election Commission removed former Kanawha County Magistrate Carol Fouty from the November ballot during an emergency meeting on Wednesday. The county's Republican Party now has less than a week to name a replacement nominee.
The State Judicial Investigation Commission charged Fouty in April with five counts of violating the ethics code for allegedly handing out favors from the bench, negotiating bond amounts and not recusing herself from conflicts of interest.
As part of a tentative settlement, Fouty pleaded guilty to one of the counts, resigned immediately and promised to remove herself from November's election.
However, she didn't mention the settlement in a request to the State Election Commission. She wanted to remove herself from the election "due to ongoing health problems and to spend more time with my family," she wrote.
Election Committeeman Gary Collias expressed concern that Fouty was trying to hide her removal for legal reasons by citing health issues.
She previously declined to name her health problems and cited HIPAA, a federal medical privacy law, he said.
"She's citing HIPAA for not giving up her own health information, which is ridiculous," Collias said. "It's her own health information."
Tim Morris, chairman of the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee, also filed a request to remove Fouty on Tuesday. Morris clarified in his request that Fouty was required to resign because of the settlement.
"The accusations against Ms. Fouty alone have done enough to damage people's faith in the justice system," Morris wrote. "Allowing her name to remain on the ballot while there is ample time to remove it will only cause the same damage to our electoral system."
Election Chairman Robert Rupp said he wanted to send a message by accepting Morris' request and refusing the reasons Fouty submitted.