Former Delaware Municipal Court Judge Michael C. Hoague has been found guilty of tampering with evidence and theft in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
The jury of six men and six women returned its verdict Friday afternoon after being unable to reach a decision on Thursday. Deliberations began Thursday around 4 p.m. and lasted until midnight, when the jury was sent home with orders to return the next morning.
However, when they returned one jury member was dismissed due to illness and one of the alternate jurors was brought into the deliberations.
The guilty verdicts were returned about an hour and a half later. After a question from Visiting Judge James A. Brogan, a retired judge from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the jury foreperson told the court that the dismissed juror had been the holdout.
The tampering with evidence charge is a third-degree felony and carries a penalty of 9 to 36 months in prison or a fine not to exceed $10,000, according to the Ohio Revised Code. The theft charge is a fifth-degree felony and carries a penalty of 6 to 12 months in prison or a fine not to exceed $2,500, according to the ORC.
Brogan also scheduled a sentencing hearing for Dec. 20 in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
Hoague was accused of “double dipping” stemming from a 2012 case in which he was retained by a family to defend their son who was charged with gross sexual imposition and rape in Delaware County Common Pleas Court. Hoague was then later assigned to the case as a public defender.
Prosecutors claimed Hoague receiving payment from the family and for his services as a public defender for the same case was illegal. He did not disclose in paperwork he filed for payment as a public defender that he had received payment from the family. Hoague’s attorneys, Ian N. Friedman and Mark R. Devan, argued that no “double dipping” occurred because Hoague was paid for two separate periods of work.
Brogan commended both Assistant Ohio Attorney General Brad Tammaro and Hoague’s attorneys, and said both sides presented the case to the best of their ability.
Hoague was originally charged with another tampering with evidence charge and another theft charge, but those charges were dismissed during the trial.