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Elkins circuit judge receives complaints after admitting relationship with county worker

ELKINS, W.Va. -- A judge who had a relationship with a suspended Randolph County employee says three complaints have been filed against her since she voluntarily reported the relationship to the Judicial Investigation Commission.

Randolph County Circuit Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong issued a statement to The Inter-Mountain this week, acknowledging a relationship with Travis Carter, regional director of North Central Community Corrections.

He was suspended by the County Commission last week pending an investigation by an outside law firm. The commission didn't give a reason but said it is gathering more information.

Details of the relationship and the allegations against the judge are confidential under commission rules and will remain private unless Wilfong is admonished or charged with misconduct.

Wilfong says she notified the commission out of "an abundance of caution to avoid any appearance of impropriety."

Both Wilfong and Carter have spouses.

"It is unfortunate when private matters become topics for public speculation," Wilfong wrote, "but I understand I am a public figure in this county.

"I work very hard every day to serve the citizens of Randolph County. However, I am not a perfect person," she said. "I am working to restore the faith of my family and those who care about me, and I am genuinely sorry I have disappointed so many people."

Wilfong, a lawyer since 1995, has been on the bench for a decade -- first as a Family Court judge, then Circuit Court -- and has no history of disciplinary actions. Her eight-year term is set to expire Dec. 31, 2016.

Carter's attorney, Bader Giggenbach, says his client will cooperate with investigators but considers the situation a private matter.

Erin Golden, finance manager for the community corrections program, has been named acting director.


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