Retired judge could lose pension after pleading guilty to stealing cocaine evidence in his cases
A retired Pennsylvania judge accused of stealing cocaine from evidence in cases over which he presided pleaded guilty Friday to three misdemeanor charges.
Paul Pozonsky, 59, served for 14 years on the common pleas court bench in the same Washington County courthouse where today’s hearing was held, reports the Tribune-Review. His lawyer, Robert Del Greco, blamed a drug addiction for Pozonsky’s behavior and said the former judge is likely to lose his state pension. Pozonsky could get as much as six years when he is sentenced in July on the theft, obstruction and misapplication of entrusted property charges.
The judge was accused of pushing for evidence to be kept in his chambers, then removing cocaine from files. Some of it he allegedly replaced with baking soda. A law clerk blew the whistle in 2012 after reportedly finding a gun that was supposed to be in evidence simply lying on a table in the judge’s chambers. The clerk alerted the district attorney and cooperated with a search by state police.
Pozonsky challenged the search, which was conducted under an administrative court order rather than a search warrant. However, the judge overseeing his case said it was legal and noted that Pozonsky had no reasonable expectation of privacy in stored evidence that was supposed to be used in criminal cases.
ABAJournal.com: “Could top judge OK search of colleague’s chambers? Ex-jurist charged in drug case says answer is no”
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