A Washington County Common Pleas judge abruptly announced his retirement Friday, halfway through his second term in office and a month after he was stripped of handling criminal cases.
Paul Pozonsky, 56, of North Strabane, said in a letter to Gov. Tom Corbett that he was retiring as of today.
Judge Pozonsky, who was elected to his second 10-year term in 2007, was removed from handling criminal cases in May by county President Judge Debbie O'Dell Seneca, who declined to explain her ruling.
In his retirement letter, Judge Pozonsky said his caseload had included 60 to 70 percent of all criminal cases in the county, along with a drug treatment court he founded in 2005. The drug treatment court, which offered rehabilitation services in lieu of jailtime for first-time offenders, was suspended by Judge O'Dell Seneca also last month, shortly after Judge Pozonsky ordered the destruction of evidence related to 17 mostly drug-related cases.
"My objective has always been to try each case by extending fairness and respect to the respective parties and litigants," he wrote. "I hold our judicial process in high regard and have always felt it was an honor to serve as a judge on our trial bench."
Judge Pozonsky, who previously served for 14 years as a district judge in Cecil before being elected to the Common Pleas Court, said his decision came "after many months of discussion with my wife and children."
First Published June 30, 2012 12:30 AM