Why Has Ex-Judge Not Been Charged?

Just a few days ago, we commented on the case of a Federal Elections Commission lawyer who was allowed to resign after he broke the law himself by campaigning and raising money for President Barack Obama.

The cycle of government officials who commit crimes but are not punished beyond being fired seems endless, we noted.

Right on cue two days later came news about David B. Daugherty. He is the retired Social Security administrative law judge who once handled disability benefits cases in Huntington. According to both published reports and a congressional investigation, Daugherty approved many claims that did not meet Social Security guidelines and may have falsified time sheets for hours he worked.

Investigations of Daugherty date back more than three years. In 2011, it was reported that of 1,284 cases he handled from people seeking benefits, he approved payments in all but four.

Three years have passed and now Daugherty faces loss of his West Virginia license to practice law. For that to happen, the state Supreme Court will have to approve.

Accusations on which the state Lawyer Disciplinary Board is seeking revocation of Daugherty’s license mirror those made three years ago.

Loss of the license will not affect him adversely, Daugherty told a reporter. “I haven’t practiced law in 25 or some years,” he commented.

If Daugherty indeed did scheme with a Kentucky lawyer, as has been alleged, to fast-track benefits cases and approved some – or many – improperly, why has nothing more been done?

These are alleged crimes involving taxpayers’ money. If Daugherty is innocent, government officials should make that clear.

If he is guilty, on the other hand, he should be charged.

Why has neither action occurred?