Judges often face the task of sentencing those who commit drug offenses. A Washington county judge, however, is now facing drug charges of his own. The judge retired last July from a special drug treatment court while an investigation into his unusual practice of keeping drugs in his chambers was still pending.
The former judge allegedly stole cocaine that law enforcement officials had confiscated as evidence in criminal cases. The judge reportedly asked that drugs be delivered to his courtroom prior to pre-trial hearings. The drugs were reportedly stored in a file cabinet in his chambers, something that was not a common practice among judges.
Law enforcement officials became suspicious when the former judge ordered the destruction of drug evidence from 18 cases. The drug evidence from five of the criminal cases was nowhere to be found and several other evidence seals had been broken or tampered with. Police report that some of the evidence was missing and some of had even been replaced with something else.
The former judge is now facing a felony charge of state ethic laws and several misdemeanor charges. The misdemeanor charges include charges of theft, drug possession, obstruction and one count of misapplication of entrusted property.
After retiring from the Washington County drug treatment court the judge moved to Alaska where he was employed for a short time as a worker’s compensation hearing officer. He reportedly resigned from the hearing officer position, however, when Alaska officials became aware of the allegations.
The judge has been released on a $25,000 bail and is scheduled to will next appear in court June 13.
Source: The Inquisitr, “Pennsylvania Judge Accused of Stealing Cocaine From Courtroom,”