UPDATE: Federal prosecutors recommend jail time for former judge Pomrenke

(PHOTO: WCYB Archive)

Prosecutors are saying a former sitting judge committing a criminal offense and manipulating testimony in his wife's corruption trial deserves jail time.

That is the sentencing recommendation that Judge James Jones will hear from U.S. Attorneys today when Kurt Pomrenke sits in an Abingdon courtroom awaiting his fate on a contempt of court conviction.

Pomrenke was removed from the bench of the Bristol Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court earlier this week by the Supreme Court of Virginia for violating the judicial canons of conduct. Those violations stem from evidence of witness tampering during his wife Stacey's trial in the BVU scandal.

"This is a case that necessitates a sentence of imprisonment," wrote U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle, who also said that Pomrenke's willful violation of the court's discovery order was the final act in a course of conduct that deliberately attempted to subvert the ethical and legal rules that are the basis of the United States justice system.

Also filed are letters of support from former Bristol, Virginia city attorneys Pete Curico and Ed Stout.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Pomrenke is the second judge in the last 23 years to be removed from the bench by the state Supreme Court. The other was also a juvenile and domestic relations judge who resolved some visitation issues by flipping a coin.

The former judge is scheduled to appear in court beginning at 1:30 p.m. News 5's Olivia Bailey is in Abingdon and will have full reports on the case this evening.