Schedules show West Virginia governor largely absent in job

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - He's a billionaire who owns mines, farms and the swankiest resort in all of West Virginia. But how Jim Justice spends his time as the state's 36th governor has largely been a mystery.

Since he took office a little more than two years ago, Justice has been dogged by criticism that he's rarely at the Statehouse. He's been called a part-time governor and criticized for missing key policy debates. Some lawmakers have suggested he can't focus on governing because he's busy tending to his expansive business empire, which has recently come under scrutiny from the federal government.

The Republican governor has pushed back hard on those claims amid calls to resign over his absenteeism and insisted he has "not stopped working " since taking office.

Yet his schedule for the past seven months - recently released to The Associated Press in response to a request filed under West Virginia's open records law - shows he almost never meets with his Cabinet, is rarely at the capital and was largely missing at one of the most critical points of this year's legislative session. The schedules mostly show him at photo ops or simply unaccounted for.