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Commissioner arraigned on embezzlement charges

Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas was arraigned on embezzlement charges on Friday morning.

Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas was arraigned on embezzlement charges on Friday morning.

He pleaded not guilty to the accusation and is hoping the charges are dismissed.

Thomas has operated a private law practice in St. Clairsville but currently his license is suspended indefinitely.

Thomas is accused of misappropriating around $36,000 from the estate of a deceased client, back in 20-14.

A complaint was filed by the executor of the estate and West Virginia State Police investigated the case.

Thomas's attorney Paul Harris says in a motion Thomas did not break the law and has been improperly charged.

A hearing should be held in the next couple of weeks regarding that matter.

Meanwhile, Thomas faces 1-10 years in prison for the felony charge.

He is free on $25,000 bond.

He says he has not comment, following the advice of his attorney.

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