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PITTSBURGH (AP) — A former judge convicted of stealing cocaine from evidence in the county drug court he founded has been disbarred from the practice of law in Pennsylvania.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the disbarment of former Washington County Judge Paul Pozonsky, who had sought a retroactive three- to five-year suspension instead.

The high court said the disbarment, which takes effect Feb. 17, was warranted “to both protect the public and to preserve the integrity of the legal profession.”

Pozonsky was removed from criminal cases and resigned in 2012 and was charged a year later. He pleaded guilty to obstructing justice, theft and misapplying government property.

He was sentenced in 2015 to 30 days to nearly two years and served the minimum term on work release before he was paroled.