CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Calling his conduct reprehensible, West Virginia’s Supreme Court stripped a veteran lawyer and frequent political candidate of his license Monday after he had someone involuntarily committed on mental health allegations later deemed untrue.
The unanimous ruling cited the convictions of H. John Rogers on false swearing and misuse of the mental hygiene system after he pleaded no contest to the misdemeanors. With those pleas, the New Martinsville lawyer did not admit guilt but chose not to challenge the case brought by prosecutors.
“Because Mr. Rogers exploited his knowledge of the law and our legal system to carry out a personal vendetta that resulted in a citizen of this state being involuntarily confined in a mental health care facility, we must send a strong message to the bar and to the public that this conduct will not be tolerated,” said Monday’s decision, which sets no new legal precedents.
The 73-year-old Democrat has run unsuccessfully for election multiple times over the decades, including for the Supreme Court last year.