Suspended attorney arrested for attempting to alter drug test

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 17, 2016

BECKLEY – A suspended attorney was arrested this week after he allegedly attempted to alter a drug test.

Richard E. Hardison Jr. is back in Southern Regional Jail after attempting to cheat on the drug test. It was less than one month ago that he entered a plea to drug and embezzlement charges. He is currently being held without bond.

On Oct. 12, Hardison reported to Raleigh County Adult Probation Office to take a random drug test.

During the test, it was discovered that Hardison was using a device known as The Whizzinator that is described as a discreet synthetic urine device. It is used to store “clean” urine in an attempt to cheat a drug test.

Raleigh County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Tom Truman told the Beckley Register Herald that altering a drug screening is a misdemeanor statutory offense.

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals voted to suspend Hardison’s law license on Sept. 14. He had entered a Kennedy plea earlier that month to delivery of cocaine and conspiracy to commit a felony.

He also pleaded guilty to three counts of embezzlement and attempt to commit a felony.

In July, Raleigh Circuit Judge Robert Burnside granted a motion to revoke his bond, after he was charged with an additional count of embezzlement.

Hardison’s first two charges were from a 2012 incident in which an individual cooperating with the police department in Beckley purchased cocaine from him. The embezzlement charges totaled $188,500 from November 2013 through October 2015.

The Supreme Court’s order says that good cause exists to temporarily suspend Hardison’s license, effective immediately, until the underlying disciplinary proceedings before the Lawyer Disciplinary Board have been completed.

Court documents show embezzlement charges totaled $188,500 from November 2013 to October 2015.

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