Ex-judge Pozonsky’s formal arraignment postponed

October 18, 2013
Paul Pozonsky

The formal arraignment of former Washington County Judge Paul Pozonsky, who is accused of stealing cocaine from police evidence while presiding over the cases, has been postponed.

According to the Washington County court administrator’s office, the proceeding originally scheduled for Monday before visiting Senior Judge Daniel Lee Howsare of Bedford County is likely to be moved to November.

Pozonsky, 57, who lived in Cecil Township until moving to Kenai, Alaska, is charged with a felony count of conflict of interest and multiple misdemeanor counts including theft, obstruction of justice, misapplication of entrusted government property and possession of a controlled substance.

Investigators accused Pozonsky of stealing cocaine evidence after ordering police to bring it into his courtroom during several routine pretrial hearings. He allegedly kept the drugs in a locked cabinet in a vault in his office.

District Attorney Gene Vittone on multiple occasions asked for the evidence to be returned so it could be properly stored or destroyed. However, Pozonsky told Vittone he personally destroyed all of the evidence in his possession. In May, a court reporter in Pozonsky’s office found a box containing evidence and turned it over to the district attorney’s office.

Pozonsky abruptly resigned from his seat on the bench last June after being removed from hearing criminal cases by President Judge Debbie O’Dell Seneca when reports surfaced that he was being investigated by a state grand jury.

Pozonsky, who was charged in May, is free on $25,000 unsecured bond.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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