CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission had charged former Kanawha Magistrate Julie Yeager with embezzlement after it determined that she violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.
The commission filed the statement of charges against Yeager on Nov. 14. They were made public on Dec. 12. The West Virginia Judicial Hearing Board recommended the commission delay further proceedings until a criminal investigation and other related actions were done.
In the complaint filed against Yeager in July, Supreme Court Administrator Gary Johnson said he believed she had stolen at least $14,000 from the West Virginia Magistrate Association, which she was treasurer of for 2.5 years.
The JIC believe Yeager lied about how much money was in the account for WVMA. Yeager had said there was more than $23,000 in the fund, but there was actually less than $800.
At a WVMA board meeting in February, Yeager reported there was $23,339.91 in the association’s bank account. A bank statement from that time shows there was actually only $739.37.
Two days before Johnson’s complaint was filed, WVMA officials learned about the discrepancies in the bank account. When a WesBanco employee could not get in contact with Yeager about the account being overdrawn, she contacted the association’s secretary. The secretary thought there should’ve been more than $30,000 in the account.
Yeager abruptly resigned the day after Johnson filed his complaint.
On Aug. 22, Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey ruled that a special prosecutor should be over the case, after deciding that Kanawha Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Miller could not be involved. Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller was appointed as special prosecutor in the investigation.
Angela Perdue was appointed to Yeager’s seat and will serve through 2018.
Yeager also filed for bankruptcy in federal court in November.