Former judge Pozonsky prepares for corruption trial

November 22, 2013
Paul Pozonsky

Paul Pozonsky, the former Washington County judge accused of stealing cocaine evidence while presiding over criminal cases, has waived his formal arraignment in the corruption case and will now prepare for his trial.

Pozonsky’s Pittsburgh-based defense attorney, Robert Del Greco Jr., filed the entry of appearance with the Washington County clerk of courts office Friday morning to waive the formal arraignment.

The hearing on charges of conflict of interest, theft, obstruction of justice, possession of a controlled substance and misapplying entrusted government property was originally scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday. The arraignment previously was scheduled for last month, but Pozonsky and his attorney asked for it to be delayed until November.

A trial date will be set during an upcoming pretrial conference 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, 58, 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.

Del Greco did not return a phone message seeking comment on the decision to forgo the formal arraignment. Pozonsky also waived his right to a preliminary hearing Sept. 18 after asking for multiple delays of that proceeding.

Pozonsky abruptly resigned his seat in June 2012 after he was 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 spent nearly 15 years on the bench as a Washington County judge and previously served 13 years as a district magistrate in Cecil Township and McDonald.

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 He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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