A motion for a continuance has been filed in the ongoing criminal case of a former Delaware Municipal Court Judge accused of tampering with evidence and theft.
Michael C. Hoague, 62, of 17 Carriage Drive, Delaware, was scheduled to appear in court Friday morning for a pretrial hearing in Delaware County Common Pleas Court to discuss his case and the trial currently scheduled for July 25.
However, a motion was filed by Hoague’s attorneys on May 2 asking that the hearing be delayed. The motion was filed by Ian N. Friedman and Eric C. Nemecek, two Cleveland-based attorneys who are taking over as counsel for Hoague.
In the motion, Friedman and Nemecek say they were recently brought on as attorneys in the case and would need time to prepare. The motion states the defense attorneys reached out to Assistant Ohio Attorney General Brad Tammaro, who did not oppose the continuance.
The hearing has not yet been rescheduled.
Hoague is charged with two counts of tampering with records, third-degree felonies and two counts of theft, fifth-degree felonies.
According to the court records, the charges center around Hoague allegedly filing paperwork while acting as a public defender in 2013 during two criminal cases for a man named Timothy Hamon. Prosecutors alleged Hoague signed a certification during the case asking to be paid by State’s Public Defender Office without disclosing that he had been paid by Hamon’s family, thus “double dipping.”
The tampering charges deals with Hoague filing the paperwork and the theft charges are for the money Hoague allegedly received from the defendant’s family.
Hoague pleaded not guilty to the charges at his arraignment on April 3 but has not commented publicly on the allegations.
Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley presided over the arraignment, but said James A. Brogan, a retired judge from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, would be presiding over the actual case but lives in Dayton and Gormley presided over the arraignment to save him a trip for a short hearing.
At the arraignment, it was stated that Hoague could face up to 36 months in prison for the tampering with evidence charges and up to a year in prison for the theft charges.
Additionally, a number of subpoenas have been issued in the case including Hoague; Hamon; Thomas Waldeck, who was Hoague’s co-counsel in the Hamon case; Gregory Meyers, a representative from the Ohio Public Defender’s Office; City of Delaware Police Detective Sergeant Michael Bolen and former Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Duncan Whitney.
Hoague was disciplined by the Ohio Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel in 2003 as a judge for “conviction of coercion, misconduct as a judge, acting in the manner that does not promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and misusing authority of judicial office to achieve the personal goal of reprimanding persons believed guilty of reckless driving.”
According to the disciplinary record, Hoague observed a vehicle driving recklessly on US 23. He wrote the owner of the vehicle a letter stating, “This is a serious matter deserving your immediate attention.”
He ordered the two to appear in his courtroom where he conducted the matter in what the disciplinary record called “an arrogant inquisition.”
Hoague was a municipal court judge in Delaware from January 1996-December 2001. He did not seek re-election when his term expired.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.