By: Scott Beveridge
Cohen Seglias Partner Chris Carusone was quoted in the Observer-Reporter article, “District Judge Mark Wilson to be Mentored to Resolve Conduct Complaints,” in regard to his representation of the judge.
District Judge Mark Wilson will be overseen by a mentor to resolve a complaint he jailed the mayor of Monongahela in what should have been a civil matter, and for other conduct violations.
The state Court of Judicial Discipline ruled Friday District Judge Jay Weller of North Strabane Township will oversee Wilson’s court through August to help to resolve issues in the case under a judicial diversion program, court records show.
Washington County President Judge Katherine B. Emery removed Wilson from hearing criminal cases in March 2017 after the allegations reached her office. She vacated that order Tuesday, allowing him to return to hearing criminal cases.
The board filed the complaint March 30 stemming from Wilson remanding Mayor Bob Kepics to Washington County jail on $5,000 bond in December 2012 on a criminal charge of theft for failing to repay a personal loan.
The charge filed in a private criminal complaint was eventually withdrawn by Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone. The board also found a pattern of Wilson setting high bonds for petty crimes.
In the ruling, the Court of Judicial Discipline alleged Wilson violated the rules of his court by assisting with the preparation of the private criminal complaint before it was approved by an assistant district attorney.
The court also said Wilson should have disqualified himself in the case against Kepics because his impartiality could have been questioned.
Wilson also “demonstrated an angry demeanor and made intemperate comments” to a state constable while instructing him to serve an arrest warrant on Kepics and escort him to his court in Monongahela, court records indicate.
Wilson still denies the allegations involving Kepics, said his attorney, Christopher Carusone of Harrisburg.