Judge Pomrenke admits he was “dead wrong” for reaching out to witnesses

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Judge Kurt Pomrenke told the commission investigating his case of judicial misconduct that he was “dead wrong” when he reached out to two potential witnesses ahead of his wife’s corruption trial.

A transcript of his appearance before the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission in June reveals the judge said he was acting like a husband who felt helpless at the time and never thought about the rules that govern judges.

“I am doing my very best to understand what happened, why it happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said, according to the transcript.

The Virginia Supreme Court is expected to decide whether the judge’s actions warrant retirement, censure or removal later this year.

In the meantime, a federal judge will hold a hearing in Judge Pomrenke’s criminal case Thursday in Abingdon. He’s scheduled to go to trial next month for alleged criminal contempt.

While the JIRC and Judge Pomrenke are trying to get the magistrate to reconsider her order requiring the JIRC’s clerk to turn over all documents sent from the judge connected to his ongoing administrative case, federal prosecutors said in filings today, the documents requested are “relevant and necessary” to further the prosecution of the judge.

His wife, former Bristol Virginia Utilities executive Stacey Pomrenke, is serving a prison sentence related to corruption charges.

Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.

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