Retired judge collects full pension along with state salary

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 30, 2012


CHARLESTON – Since he retired from his position in 2010 as a Cabell circuit judge, Dan O'Hanlon has been collecting his full judicial pension on top of his current income as the director of WVNET.

O'Hanlon is also Vice Chancellor for Technology for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

When O'Hanlon retired from the bench, he said he planned to collect his judicial retirement, but was not ready to rest; instead, he planned to continue doing meaningful work in another area of employment.

O'Hanlon announced his retirement from the bench in August 2010 with a letter to then-Gov. Joe Manchin. His retirement was effective Oct. 31, 2010.

After retiring, O'Hanlon accepted the position with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, which he began Nov. 1, 2010.

According to the Charleston Daily Mail, O'Hanlon's income for 2011 with the Higher Education Policy Commission was $123,964.92, according to the West Virginia State Auditor's Office records. O'Hanlon also collects $95,000 annually from his judicial pension.

In 2012, O'Hanlon has billed the state $6,939.93 for traveling expenses, training and development expenses, hospitality expenses and cellular charges, according to the state auditor's office records and the Daily Mail report.

Although he is collecting his judicial pension and his annual salary with the HEPC, O'Hanlon is not collecting a salary for his job with WVNET, which would be another $120,000. Instead, he does both jobs with his HEPC salary, the Daily Mail reported.

O'Hanlon was first elected to the bench in 1984 when he defeated incumbent D.B. Daugherty. He was re-elected in 1992, 2000 and 2008.

O'Hanlon earned his undergraduate degree from Marquette University and graduated from Arizona State University's College of Law in 1973. He moved to Huntington in 1978 to direct the paralegal program at Marshall University Community College and was later part of Marshall's Criminal Justice department. He worked as a Cabell County assistant prosecuting attorney and a Huntington municipal judge.

He won the Governor's Information Technology Award in 1999 for developing a video system that linked courthouses to jails and prisons across the state and also contributed to the county's Adult Drug Court, Juvenile Drug Court and Day Report Center. In 2007, the West Virginia Association for Justice named him Judge of the Year.

Upon serving his 24th year on the bench, O'Hanlon became eligible for retirement, according to the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board.

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