Convicted former judge files appeal


The attorney representing former Delaware City Municipal Court Judge Michael C. Hoague filed an appeal with the Fifth District Court of Appeals Thursday and is appealing the conviction and sentence in the case.

Hoague was found guilty of one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and one count of theft, a fifth-degree felony, after a jury trial in November. At a sentencing hearing on Dec. 21, 2017, visiting Judge James A. Brogan sentenced Hoague to five years of community control and ordered him to pay $5,000 in restitution to the State of Ohio.

According to court documents, local attorney Christopher J. Burchinal was assigned as appellate counsel for Hoague in January, and on Feb. 1, Burchinal filed a notice with the Delaware County Common Pleas Court indicating that he had filed with the court of appeals.

According to Burchinal’s docketing statement, the issues that will be discussed during the appeal include sufficiency and weight of evidence that was presented during the case, denial of due process, inadmissible hearsay and prosecutorial misconduct.

The charges against Hoague stem from a 2012 case in which he was hired by a family to defend their son who was charged with gross sexual imposition and rape in Delaware County Common Pleas Court. Hoague was later appointed to the case as a public defender, and at the conclusion of the case, Hoague filed paperwork asking to be paid as a public defender for his work on the case. On this paperwork, Hoague stated that he had not been compensated for his work on the case.

Before issuing the sentence, Brogan, a retired Second Circuit Court of Appeals judge, overruled a motion for acquittal filed by Hoague’s attorneys, but said the court of appeals may disagree with him.

At his sentencing hearing, Hoague said it was “the hardest day” of his life.

“My career, my life’s passion, and my livelihood is finished,” Hoague said on Dec. 21. “I should have been more careful. … This unintentional oversight cost me everything. I’m responsible for my situation, and I’m sorry.”

There were no additional filings Friday.

By Glenn Battishill

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Contact Glenn Battishill at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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