What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 10, 2015

Chuck McCullough UPDATE

For those of you who may not have been following the trial of former Allegheny County Council Member Charles P. "Chuck" McCullough, the trial resumed today.

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.

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'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. 

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 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.”
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.

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.


StandingBull said...

Of course, there's another way of looking at it. The prosecution never should have brought a case against him in the first place. You know, for people who know him, regardless of whether or not they like him, the idea that the DA's office was looking for a reason to come after him was never news. Chuck has never been one of those "play along to get along" people, so the idea that he angered the local boys network to the point of retribution is hardly surprising --but very disturbing.

Dayvoe said...

But then there's the charge of filing a false police report to the Upper St Clair police.

Regardless of anything else, that is a serious charge.

StandingBull said...

What is clear and unfortunate for Mr. McCullough is that Ms. Jordon was not in complete control of her faculties at that time, she knew it (e.g. she had fired at least two lawyers previously who would testify that she was unstable) and that's why she hired him. Clearly, McCullough thought he could navigate waters that others could not.

I think it's notable that despite all he's been through, you haven't heard McCullough throw his ex-client under the bus. These concocted, complicated cases generally have a simple explanation. To me, it's likely that he was trying to help her, she was trying to help him, and McCullough's mistake was accepting her help. In terms of legal mischief, I'm not sure that even rates.

I would still like to know how it came to pass that reporters ended up at Ms. Jordon's door.