The jury began deliberations Thursday in the trial of a former Delaware municipal court judge who was accused of “double dipping” while he served as a defense attorney in 2012.
Both parties rested their cases Thursday afternoon and the case was turned over to the jury in the trial for Michael C. Hoague in Delaware County Common Pleas Court. Hoague was a municipal court judge in Delaware from January 1996 to December 2001. He did not seek re-election when his term expired.
Hoague was charged with two counts of tampering with evidence, third-degree felonies, and two counts of theft, fifth-degree felonies. However, one tampering with evidence charge and one theft charge were dismissed Thursday after Hoague’s attorneys, Ian N. Friedman and Mark R. Devan, filed Criminal Rule 29 motions related to the two charges.
Criminal Rule 29 allows charges to be dismissed before being presented to the jury if the judge rules there isn’t enough evidence to support a conviction for those charges.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, the penalties for a third-degree felony include between nine and 36 months in prison or a fine not to exceed $10,000. The penalties for a fifth-degree felony include a prison term of between six to 12 months or a fine not exceed $2,500.
Assistant Ohio Attorney General Brad L. Tammaro told the jury that in 2012, a man named Timothy Hamon was charged with gross sexual imposition and rape in Delaware County Common Pleas Court and said that Hamon’s family went to Hoague to try and retain his services to defend Hamon.
Tammaro said Hamon was already represented by public defender Thomas Waldeck and said Hoague agreed to consult on the case and assist Waldeck. For his services, the Hamons agreed to pay Hoague $10,000 with a down payment of $4,000.
Tammaro said Hoague was later appointed as co-counsel and public defender on the case.
Tammaro said that at the conclusion of the case, Hoague filed paperwork with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office, asking to be paid for the work on the case without disclosing that he had already been paid by Hamon’s family and was therefore “double dipping.”
Hoague’s attorneys have argued that the payments for Hoague’s previous work on Hamon’s case and from the public defenders office were for separate time periods and argue that “double dipping” never occurred.
The tampering charges deal with Hoague filing the paperwork and the theft charges are for the money Hoague allegedly received from Hamon’s family.
Visiting Judge James A. Brogan, a retired judge from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, is presiding over the case.