Watkins Still Owes Nearly $14 Thousand


Disgraced Judge Slow To Repay Debt To West Virginia 

While the Mountain State continues to struggle with a huge budget shortage, Former Putnam County Family Court Judge William M. “Chip” Watkins, III, was allowed to go more than two years before making the first payment on his owed $18,578.21 of investigation costs owed to the State of West Virginia’s Judicial Investigation commission. Additionally, he is not being charged interest – and still owes nearly $14,000, nearly five years after agreed to reimburse taxpayers.

PutnamCountyNews.com asked the JIC’s Counsel, Teresa Tarr, why it took so long and why Watkins isn’t being charged interest. Here is what she had to say in an email response:

Why did the JIC wait until April of 2015 to take enforcement action against Watkins for failure to pay?

“As you may recall, I was originally conflicted off the Watkins’ case.  However, in January 2015, the conflict was resolved and I was then able to handle the matter.  Upon taking over the case, I negotiated a repayment agreement with former Judge Watkins.” 

Why isn’t Watkins being charged interest?

“The JIC typically does not ask for interest in repayment agreements.  However, if someone violates the repayment agreement, and an enforcement action ensues, the JIC would then ask for interest.  Former Judge Watkins has been making payments consistent with the repayment agreement. 

Watkins made his first payment, in May of 2015, according to Supreme Court Public Information Officer Jennifer Bundy. This means he didn’t pay a penny since agreeing to repayment before his November 27th, 2012 hearing. She provides the following information:

  • From May 1, 2015, through April 1, 2017, the payments were $100.00 a month.
  • Beginning on May 1, 2017, and continuing through October 1, 2020, the payments are $385.20 a month. 
  • To date, Watkins has paid $4,711.20 of the amount due.  The outstanding balance is $13,867.01.
  • The payments conclude on October 1, 2020.  The total amount of payment is $18,578.21.

Would a single parent be allowed to go more than two years without paying a penny of child support without Watkins throwing them in jail?

Doubtful.

It should also be noted that PutnamCountyNews.com first started asking about whether Watkins paid on his bill in January of 2015. The payment plan wasn’t agreed to until after PutnamCountyNews.com started asking questions.

Coincidence?

You decide.

Meanwhile, in 2017, to help balance the West Virginia state budget, citizens are being charged a higher gasoline tax and drivers are being charged higher DMV fees while college students are paying more for tuition.

What is obvious is that there is a double-standard between how civilians are treated by the courts and how former judges are coddled.

Related:

Watkins: 100 Dollar Payments

Watkins Still Owes Thousands

Watkins Gets Four Year Suspension

Watkins Makes The News Again

GAZETTE: Watkins Denies Ethics Claim

SMITH: No Watkins Vandalism Reports

WV Judicial Investigative Commission Files Ethics Claims Against Watkins

Wysong Says Watkins Verbally Abused Her

NSFW: A Video Montage Of Judge Watkins’ Moments

Watkins Slanders Hallburn And Sexton

Harper Files Complaint Against Watkins

Phalen, Watkins Accused Of Mishandling Divorce

Watkins Cusses At Amputee In Court

Supreme Court Slaps Down Watkins

Gilmer County Free Press Rips Canterbury, Watkins

Canterbury Says Watkins Won’t Be Published

Watkins Video Makes Fox News, The Blaze, Business Insider

Wallace Wants Hage Reprimanded

Watkins Screams At Hage In Court

Watkins Threatens Reporter

Pastor Hage Suing Judge Watkins

Watkins Rulings Challenged Three Times In 2011

Putnam Man Accuses Family Law Judge, Staff Of Mischief

Suit Accuses Family Law Judge Of Abusing Authority, Unprofessional Conduct