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Ex-Judge Sentenced To At Least 30 Days In Prison In Missing Cocaine Case

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –A retired judge who pleaded guilty to taking cocaine from criminal trials was sentenced Monday morning.

Paul Pozonsky's formal sentence is 30 days to 23 1/2 months in jail. However, his lawyer will ask for release after 30 days for good behavior. Pozonsky turned himself in this afternoon.

Paul Pozonsky arrived at the Washington County Courthouse where he once presided as a criminal court judge, but from which he admitted taking cocaine evidence.

"I'm not blaming anybody but myself," he told the visiting judge from Bedford County. "There's nobody else to blame," he said.

Prosecutor Michael Ahwesh from the attorney general's office reminded the judge that some of the incidences of cocaine evidence he had state police bring to his office happened even after he sought treatment, which the prosecutor called arrogant.

But his defense attorney argued jail would only rub salt in the wound of a broken man.

"The misery index has been great and he has suffered mightily on this," said defense attorney Bob DelGreco. "He truly is a broken man and my hope is in the great spirit of the phoenix bird that he can rise from the ashes some day and be a productive citizen."

But the judge ruled jail time - even short jail time sends a message.

Thirty days to 23 1/2 months in jail. The defense will petition for release after 30 days if he has a clean record in jail, and he will begin his sentence in the Washington County Jail unless the warden can't guarantee his safety.

That wasn't enough for the Aller family. Their late daughter, a heroin addict was in the drug court when Pozonsky presided.

"I don't think it's fair," said Andrea Aller of Burgettstown, "but I don't really have a say so. I'm glad he's getting some jail time but I don't think it's fair."

She and her husband, Barry, followed the case after their daughter died as a result of her heroin addiction.

"If it was a person off the street they wouldn't be going to jail for 30 days for stealing off of the county itself, evidence," said Barry Aller. "You wouldn't be going to jail for 30 days, I'm sure."

There are two more issues pending beyond this for Paul Pozonsky: possible divorce and possible disbarment.

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