Attorney targeted by complaint faces jail time

By Don Shilling

Atty. Warren “Bo” Pritchard, who has been accused of misconduct in his legal practice, is to begin a 90-day jail sentence later this month on a charge of operating a vehicle while impaired.

Pritchard, who is an Austintown Township trustee, pleaded no contest Sept. 14 to the charge in Columbiana County Municipal Court, and is to report to jail Nov. 25, according to court documents.

He was fined $750, had his driver’s license suspended for six months and was placed on probation for one year.

According to court documents, Pritchard was charged in November 2008. Those documents did not provide details of his arrest.

Last week, the Mahoning County Bar Association filed documents with the Ohio Supreme Court that allege multiple incidents of misconduct by Pritchard, ranging from clients who paid money up front for services they did not receive to others in which Pritchard failed to show up for court appearances.

The Supreme Court’s Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline will determine whether there is probable cause to proceed with a hearing on the allegations.

Efforts to reach Pritchard at home and on his cell phone were unsuccessful.

Michael Kurish, township clerk, said Pritchard has been handling his duties as trustee and attended a township trustee meeting last week. Pritchard is up for re-election Tuesday.

Kurish said he has had some trouble reaching Pritchard recently, but the trustee calls in to keep abreast of what is happening in the township. Kurish said he thinks Pritchard is handling his duties well.

The question, Kurish said, is whether Pritchard can keep his personal issues separate from the township business.

“I think so far he’s been able to do that, but he has some personal challenges, no question about it,” Kurish said.

Michael Dockry, township administrator, said he didn’t want to comment about the recent news regarding Pritchard other than to say it hasn’t had any effect on the township’s operations.

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