Best of the States
AP Exclusive: Schedules reveal West Virginia governor largely absent from work
Anthony Izaguirre began hearing the chatter about West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice as soon as he started work as the AP’s statehouse correspondent in Charleston, West Virginia, in late February. Sources told him Justice – a billionaire who owns mines, farms and a swanky resort – wasn’t fully engaged and hadn’t even been in the capital, Charleston, much since taking office in 2017.
Izaguirre's initial request for the governor’s schedules was declined, but he pressed with the help of AP’s legal department, finally getting the records. Armed with those calendars and his own resourceful reporting, he cobbled together a record of the governor’s activities, confirming what many suspected: Justice appeared to have better things to do than govern.
West Virginia media pounced on the exclusive story, which also played well outside the state.
For his resolute work to obtain public records and his thorough reporting to fill out a story no one else in the state could land, Izaguirre wins this week’s Best of the States award.