Former judge accused of stealing cocaine

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Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced today the filing of criminal charges against retired Washington County Common Pleas Judge Paul Pozonsky. Pozonsky is accused of misappropriating cocaine that was submitted as evidence in drug cases he presided over.

The case was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the charges against Pozonsky.

In May 2011, Judge Pozonsky began to request that police bring to his courtroom the controlled substances—usually cocaine– that had been confiscated in drug cases, according to investigators. The controlled substances would be entered into evidence and retained by Judge Pozonsky or his staff.

In May 2012, State Police investigators, pursuant to an Order issued by the President Judge of the Washington County Court of Common Pleas, examined the evidence envelopes and found cocaine was either missing or had been tampered with.

Pozonsky is charged with the following:

  • 4 counts of theft;
  • 1 count restricted activities;
  • 4 counts of possession;
  • 4 counts of theft by failure to make required disposition;
  • 1 count of misapplication of entrusted property; and
  • 1 count of obstructing the administration of law.

Pozonsky was arraigned this morning before District Judge Robert Redlinger and released on $25,000 unsecured bond. The case will be prosecuted in Washington County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Michael Ahwesh.