CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Supreme Court will decide if a Wetzel County attorney will keep his license to practice law. Justices heard arguments Tuesday in the Lawyer Disciplinary Board’s case against H. John Rogers.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel says the 73-year-old Rogers should lose his license after pleading no contest to a pair of criminal charges in Wetzel County in 2010.
Rogers was charged after he filed a mental hygiene application against restaurant owner Jeffrey Shade. He claimed Shade had a drug and alcohol problem and he wanted to help him.
“He got a mental health warrant against a friend hoping it would shock him into getting him into recovery,” Rogers’ attorney George Daugherty told the Supreme Court Tuesday. “That’s been used many, many times.”
After Rogers filed the petition Shade was arrested and taken to a health center in Wheeling for testing. He was released the same day after undergoing tests.
Justice Margaret Workman questioned why Rogers pleaded no contest to the criminal charges, which has the same effect as a conviction.
Workman had other questions.
“Is that really appropriate that you are acquainted with someone and you decide that you are going to take it upon yourself to go file a mental hygiene on them because you think they have a alcohol problem and you’re not their relative or anything else?”
Shade said Rogers was mad at him because he had kicked him out of his cafe the day before he filed the mental hygiene petition.
The High Court will hand down its decision on the case later this year.
Rogers was a candidate for state Supreme Court in 2010.