Berks district judge waives court hearing, heads to trial

Former cop accused of stealing more than $100K...

READING, Pa. - A longtime district judge is heading to trial on criminal charges.

Berks County Magisterial District Judge Timothy Dougherty waived his right to a preliminary hearing before an-out-of-county judge Friday morning.

Dougherty said nothing as he left the Berks County Courthouse in downtown Reading. His left arm was still in a sling following an injury he suffered in a fall inside his court office in West Reading on May 12, the day he was originally expected to surrender to the Pennsylvania attorney general's office.

Dougherty was transported to Reading Hospital for treatment of his injury and then arraigned the following day, May 13, on charges of theft by deception and receiving stolen property.

He stands accused of stealing more than $15,000 from his court office in West Reading and nearly $98,000 from the Wyomissing Fire Department, where he served as treasurer.

Dougherty is a former Cumru Township police officer who has served as district judge since 1998. He has been suspended from that job and remains free on $100,000 unsecured bail.

He is now set for a formal arraignment on July 6, however, his attorney, Allan Sodomsky, told WFMZ's Amanda VanAllen that his client will also waive his right to that hearing.

Sodomsky has asked for there not to be a rush to judgement in the case, saying that there's no proof of Dougherty stealing money.

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