Federal judge says local judge, Kurt Pomrenke, ‘has no right to a jury trial’

ABINGDON, VA (WJHL) – When Judge Kurt Pomrenke goes to trial next month for alleged criminal contempt, a federal judge says he’ll have no right to a jury trial. Instead, Judge James Jones will hear the case himself.

As we reported Tuesday, Judge Pomrenke will appear for a bench trial on September 13 in Abingdon.

“The court will limit the sentence to be imposed upon the defendant in the event he is convicted of criminal contempt to the maximum authorized for a petty offense (imprisonment for up to six months or a fine of not more than $5,000) and thus the defendant has no right to a jury trial,” Judge Jones said in a court order filed Tuesday.

Prosecutors argue the husband of former Bristol Virginia Utilities executive Stacey Pomrenke violated a court order when he shared court records with the Virginia Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission last year.

In addition to his federal case, Judge Pomrenke has a pending case with the commission, which alleges judicial misconduct. The Virginia Supreme Court will eventually consider whether the judge should retire, be censured or be removed.

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