The House Judiciary Committee has overwhelmingly recommended that the state treasurer be impeached for his role in the loss of $279 million from the consolidated investment fund.

The legislative committee voted 19-6 Wednesday night to recommend Treasurer A. James Manchin's impeachment.Committee Chairman John Hatcher said one more formal vote is needed before the impeachment resolution can be sent to the House of Delegates floor. He gave no timetable for that vote or a related decision on whether to reprimand state Auditor Glen Gainer.

If 51 of the 100 House members vote to impeach Manchin, the popular two-term Democrat will be tried in the state Senate, where two-thirds approval of the 34 members is needed to remove him from office.

The resolution accuses Manchin of neglect of duty, incompetence, maladministration and high crimes and misdemeanors for either failing to report the losses, the bulk of which occurred from April to June 1987, or for failing to supervise his staff.

Manchin blames his employees, primarily former Associate Treasurer Arnold Margolin and former Investment Director Kathy Lester, for the losses. He says he didn't learn of them until December 1988.