West Virginia Record

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Judicial board recommends former magistrate barred from seeking office again

Attorneys & Judges

By Kyla Asbury | Sep 10, 2019


WHEELING — The Judicial Hearing Board of West Virginia recently recommended that a former Ohio magistrate judge who was sentenced to four months in prison be permanently barred from ever seeking judicial office again.

Former Ohio Magistrate Judge Harry A. Radcliffe III was sentenced to four months in prison for one county of conspiracy to impede the Internal Revenue Service on Aug. 2. 

The Judicial Hearing Board of West Virginia held a hearing on Aug. 26 regarding Radcliffe and recommended several sanctions including public censure, the enjoinment from ever seeking public office, a fine of $1,000 and for Radcliffe to pay the total costs of the investigation/prosecution of the disciplinary charges, according to the recommended decision.

Radcliffe was sentenced to four months incarceration to be followed by two months of home confinement for tax fraud on Aug. 2, according to an announcement by United States Attorney Bill Powell.

"Defendants are not treated differently because they are elected officials," Powell had previously said in a statement. "In fact, elected officials know better than most people about the rule of law.  We have done our duty and the court has now imposed its sentence.  We will continue to investigate violations of the public trust."

Radcliffe pled guilty to one count in April.

According to Powell, in tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015, Radcliffe accepted a total of approximately $22,000 in cash payments from William W. Seelbach, the then-owner of W&S Bail Bonding and those payments were offered by Seelbach as bribes.

Radcliffe willfully failed to report this income to the IRS, resulting in a total tax loss of $5,500, according to a press release from Powell's office. Radcliffe also failed to report this extra-judicial income to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Seelbach was previously sentenced to three years probation for tax fraud.

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