And this is happened, according to the Trib's Adam Brandolph:
An Allegheny County judge acquitted former Councilman Chuck McCullough of three charges related to the theft of money from an elderly widow's estate Wednesday as the prosecution rested its case and the defense prepared to call its first witnesses.I'm not sure, but I think that he was facing about 2 dozen charges. And take a pair away from that two dozen and Chuck's still looking at 21 (or so) charges. But as with all things legal, the numbers might be off. It's possible that some other charges have been dropped in the intervening years.
Common Pleas Judge Lester G. Nauhaus granted a motion from the defense to acquit McCullough of misapplication of entrusted money, theft and conspiracy. Nauhaus acquitted McCullough's sister, Kathleen McCullough, 52, of Collier, of both counts she faced.
I'll wait for verification on exactly what charges are left from one or another of the local news outlets.
Adam did include this in his reporting:
Nauhuas' acquittal of some charges against McCullough was not all that surprising. In April after a week of testimony, Nauhaus told prosecutors that he had not seen evidence that McCullough stole money from Jordan's estate and expressed doubts about whether prosecutors had met their burden of proof.So I guess what he's saying is that Chuck McCullough may not be a criminal but there's lotsa evidence showing he's a crummy lawyer.
“So far, all I've seen evidence of is malpractice. That's not fraud,” Nauhaus said. “He very well may be a crummy lawyer, but that doesn't make him a criminal.”
At the very least, for something like that to come from a sitting judge, that can't be good. If only in the general "what about my reputation" sort of way.
The trial continues.