State bar suspends Judge Kurt Pomrenke from practicing law for 9 months

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The Virginia State Bar is disciplining a local judge for what it calls misconduct. Its disciplinary board has suspended the law license of former Juvenile District Court Judge Kurt Pomrenke. 

Pomrenke was released from a Pennsylvania prison back in March after he was sentenced to two months in prison for criminal contempt. 

The Virginia Supreme Court removed Pomrenke from the bench following a judicial misconduct investigation regarding the federal Bristol Virginia Utilities corruption case. 

His wife Stacey Pomrenke was the former chief financial officer at the time of the federal investigation.   
The Virginia State Board’s court document noted Kurt Pomrenke’s documented improper communication with potential witnesses in his wife’s federal investigation.

On November 18, 2015, Kurt Pomrenke reportedly sent a handwritten note along with one of his judicial business cards to witness saying:

“Hi Don: I just wanted to sincerely thank you for your kindness and understanding and support for Stacey during these horrible times. By now I am sure you would agree she is absolutely honest, truthful, ethical, and innocent! It is horrible what our government is doing to her. She will be proven innocent. Thank you for believing in her. Kurt Pomrenke.” 

Then on February 5, 2016, Kurt Pomrenke reported left a voicemail on a BVU employee’s cell phone:

” Hey Connie, this is Kurt, um, when you’re testifying in that trial there might be a couple of things that you could do that would really help Stacey. If you could kinda slip in when you have a chance just little remarks like, how Stacey did a great job, or Stacey was the one that took care of the employees, or Stacey is just an honest … just any, any kind of little comments you can make to support her or, Stacey was the one that always looked out for the employees, or, just something like that even though it’s not directly in response to the questions, if you could figure out a way to, to do that I really think that would help and make a huge difference. I’m sorry you’re caught up in this, but we feel real good about the outcome and sure appreciate your help. Thank you, bye.”

A jury found his wife Stacey guilty on 14 of the 15 counts in the criminal case. 

After a bench trial, Kurt Pomrenke, was convicted of one count of criminal contempt. He served a criminal sentence in federal prison from January 17, 2018, until March 15, 2018.  

On Wednesday, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board Suspended Kurt Pomrenke’s License to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia for 9 months for violating professional rules that govern misconduct. 

The state bar says “professional misconduct for a lawyer to: commit a criminal or deliberately wrongful act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness to practice law.” 

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