Lee Koogler
Lee Koogler

Hillsboro attorney and former Hillsboro City Council president Lee Koogler was released from custody following a hearing Tuesday, Sept. 22 before Judge David H. McKenna in Hillsboro Municipal Court.

Koogler was detained in the Highland County Justice Center Monday, Sept. 21 on contempt of court.

During the Sept. 22 hearing, Judge McKenna told Koogler: "I believe you have other cases coming up (as legal counsel); however, the other order of business is more compelling.

"On Sept. 3, I issued an order for you to appear on Sept. 15 after you failed to appear on 10 different cases," the judge said. "You were ordered to show cause why you were not in contempt of court. You were served on Sept. 5. You failed to appear. At 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 15, I put my phone on speaker and left a message. You failed to respond. A capias was issued, and now you are here."

Judge McKenna advised Koogler that he had a right to an attorney.

Koogler replied that he would like to have an attorney and would assess that Tuesday.

The judge released Koogler until a show cause hearing set for 11:30 a.m. Oct. 27 in Hillsboro Municipal Court.

"You may purge yourself by reporting to the Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of Ohio," Judge McKenna told Koogler.

The judge asked Koogler if he had any questions, to which Koogler replied "None, Your Honor."

"I would very strongly advise you to review all your pending cases with this court," the judge said. "If there are any further cases where you fail to appear and your client is here, it will probably result in more serious consequences."

"Very well, Your Honor," Koogler replied.

Koogler, 46, served on Hillsboro City Council for several years. He was re-elected in November 2017 for a fourth term on city council – the Republican's third as council president. That term was to expire Dec. 31, 2021. However, on March 11, 2019, Koogler announced his resignation from council.

Also in March 2019, Koogler had his law license status changed from active to inactive, according to the Supreme Court of Ohio Attorney Directory. Koogler was later returned to active status. 

Correction: In an earlier story, it was written that Mr. Koogler was charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, according to online information from the Highland County Justice Center. Mr. Koogler was not charged with a first-degree misdemeanor or any other criminal offense. The charge was contempt of court. The Highland County Press regrets the error.