FEBRUARY 25, 2008
A state disciplinary board has recommended that an Ohio judge acquitted of criminal charges still be permanently disbarred because he had a pattern of improper activity and committed multiple serious transgressions.
The Highland County judge, Jeffrey Hoskins, was indicted by a grand jury last year for money laundering, tampering with records, theft, falsification and having an unlawful interest in a public contract. Some of the charges stemmed from the judge’s law practice before he was elected to the bench.
Judge Hoskins was temporarily suspended to fend off the criminal charges and returned when two separate juries acquitted him, in December 2006 and later in August 2007. But a nine-count ethics complaint remained active against the judge and a state investigative panel gathered evidence of his misconduct and impropriety in office.
It found multiple serious transgressions by Hoskins and a pattern of improper activity, both as a judge and attorney. The findings led the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Discipline and Grievances to recommend Hoskins’ permanent suspension from the bench and disbarment.
Now the state’s Supreme Court must make a final decision on the case. In the meantime, Judge Hoskins was running for re-election but changed his mind after reading the disciplinary board’s report, issuing a statement announcing that he was withdrawing from the March 4 Republican primary.
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