Ex-judge Pozonsky waives charges to court

September 16, 2013
In this file photo taken earlier this year, former Washington County judge Paul Pozonsky heads toward a hearing in his criminal case. - Observer-Reporter Order a Print

The case against Paul Pozonsky, the Washington County judge accused of stealing cocaine evidence while presiding over several criminal cases, will proceed to trial.

On Monday, Pozonsky waived to court all charges, including a felony count of conflict of interest and more than a dozen misdemeanor counts that include theft, possession of a controlled substance, obstruction of justice and misapplying entrusted government property.

The decision to waive the charges cancels his preliminary hearing, which had been scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at Washington County Courthouse. The hearing had been rescheduled twice before.

Pozonsky’s formal arraignment is now scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 21 before Senior Bedford County Judge Daniel Lee Howser. The state Supreme Court assigned an out-of-county judge to the case in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

The state police Organized Crime Task Force charged Pozonsky May 23 and accused him of taking cocaine evidence in several cases and replacing the drug with other substances, including baking soda.

Pozonsky abruptly resigned his seat in June 2012 after he was removed from hearing criminal cases by President Judge Debbie O’Dell Seneca and reports surfaced that he was being investigated by a state grand jury. The special drug treatment court Pozonsky founded was temporarily shut down during the investigation.

Pozonsky, 57, has been free on $25,000 bond since the charges were filed and allowed to return to his new home near Anchorage, Alaska, where he has been living with his wife, Sara.

It was not known if he had returned to Washington this week in preparation for the preliminary hearing.

His attorney, Robert DelGreco Jr., did not return a phone message seeking comment on the decision to waive the charges.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and Patch.com. He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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