West Virginia Record

Friday, April 3, 2020

Beckley attorney charged with felony embezzlement

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 2, 2016

General court 07

BECKLEY – A Beckley attorney has been charged with felony embezzlement while he is continuing to await trial for other charges from 2012.

Richard E. Hardison Jr. was charged May 31. He was arrested in 2014 for stealing more than $59,000 from a client.

In September 2012, Hardison was charged with delivery and conspiracy of cocaine after police sent a confidential informant who was equipped with a wire to his office in April 2012 to attempt to purchase cocaine from Hardison.

Timothy J. LaFon, Hardison’s attorney at the time, ended up getting the audio recording suppressed, arguing that it violated West Virginia’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act.

On appeal to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, the court ruled the informant was not seeking legal advice and because he agreed to wear a recording device, he did not intend the conversation to be kept confidential.

In March, David White, Hardison’s new attorney, filed three motions to suppress evidence, disqualify the Raleigh Count Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and to impose sanctions against the state.

A trial date for the 2012 charges has not been set.

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West Virginia Supreme Court of AppealsRaleigh County CourthouseRaleigh Circuit Court