CHARLESTON – Former Kanawha County magistrate Julie Yeager has been admonished for having improper communications with prosecutors, law enforcement officers and victims in three criminal cases.
The admonishment was filed on Nov. 30. Yeager was admonished by the Judicial Investigation Commission on Oct. 27, but the commission decided no formal discipline would be taken against her for the violations committed.
The admonishment was the second time this year state judicial officials accused Yeager of misconduct.
The first accusation of misconduct was filed in July when she was accused of embezzlement. She resigned after that accusation.
The latest admonishment addresses Yeager’s conduct in three cases between December 2015 and November 2016, when she presided over Kanawha County Domestic Violence Court.
Yeager violated Judicial Code of Conduct rules by independently investigating certain facts in a case and by attempting to direct court personnel, who weren’t employees in her office, to perform certain tasks, according to the admonishment.
Yeager also violated the Judicial Code of Conduct rules by communicating with parties in one case without the knowledge or presence of all involved parties.
Also, at some point between Dec. 29, 2015, and March 30, 2016, Yeager asked Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Sophie Rosenberg to file a motion to allow a defendant in a domestic violence case to have contact with the alleged victim, which Rosenberg refused to do.
Adam Petry, another assistant prosecuting attorney, told Yeager that the office would not agree to file the motion.
In a second incident, a woman was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 2, 2016. She suffered injuries from a suspected attack by a man whom she had a domestic violence protective order against.
Three days later, someone at Yeager’s office contacted the Kanawha Metro 911 dispatch and directed the dispatcher to send a police officer to the man’s home for violating the order. A warrant was issued for the man’s arrest and he was later arrested.
The third incident listed in the admonishment incurred on Nov. 29, 2016, when Yeager was out of the office following a medical procedure.
On that day, Yeager and someone from her office discussed a case and the employee called Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mandy Pellegrin and asked her to file a motion to increase an unnamed man’s bond and Pellegrin refused.
In July, Yeager resigned after being accused of embezzling $14,000 from the West Virginia Magistrate Association. Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller was appointed as special prosecutor in the investigation, but no criminal charges have been filed against Yeager in the investigation.