COLUMBUS — A well-known Portsmouth attorney who was arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges in 2019 was suspended from the practice of law for two years by the Supreme Court of Ohio early Thursday morning.
Tracy Hoover had been on an interim suspension from practicing law since October 2020, about two weeks after he pleaded guilty to a pair of felony charges of aggravated burglary and one charge of aggravated menacing. In their opinion, the Supreme Court noted Hoover has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and a severe manic episode contributed to his misconduct. On Thursday, the Court ruled Hoover violated the ethical conduct rules that govern Ohio lawyers that they said: “adversely reflected on his fitness to practice law.”
According to court records, In October 2019, Hoover believed someone had entered buildings on property he owned located on Carey’s Run in West Portsmouth and grabbed a shotgun from one of the garages on the property and asked for identification. Hoover later recalled that he recognized everyone except for a man, Jason Pelfrey, who had told Hoover several months before the incident that he was renting property from one of Hoover’s sons.
On the night in question, Hoover accused Pelfrey of breaking into buildings and not paying rent and demanded that Pelfrey leave. With Hoover armed, Pelfrey locked himself inside his rented apartment. While Pelfrey called the Scioto County Sheriff’s office, Hoover turned off the electricity to the building and when deputies responded to Pelfrey’s call, Hoover met them with a baseball bat he had taken from a garage beneath Pelfrey’s residence. Hoover was immediately arrested and lodged into the Scioto County Jail.
During his arraignment, Hoover was taken to a behavioral health service
With Hoover slated for a hearing in the same court on March 3, 2020, the embattled litigator failed to show for his hearing and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Two days later, Hoover was picked up in Volusia County, Florida, where he was entered into a mental health facility before being extradited to Portsmouth. Once back in Scioto County, Hoover was eventually ruled incompetent to stand trial and once again was placed into a health care resource hospital.
In September of 2020, Hoover was found to be competent to go before a court for the original charges and was given a sentence of intense community control for three years and was ordered to remain on behavior-modification medicine.
According to the Ohio Supreme Court sanction, “Hoover can seek reinstatement if he fully complies with all the terms of his court-imposed community control and submits an assessment from the Ohio Lawyers Assistance Program (OLAP) indicating that he has complied with all OLAP treatment recommendations. He must also enter a treatment contract for a duration selected by OLAP, and submit an opinion from his treating psychiatrist stating he is able to return the professional practice of law.” The Court agreed with the board’s recommendation to suspend Hoover for two years with credit for time served under his October 2020 suspension. Hoover can seek reinstatement if he fully complies with all the terms of his court-imposed community control and submits an assessment from the Ohio Lawyers Assistance Program (OLAP) indicating that he has complied with all OLAP treatment recommendations. He must also enter a treatment contract for a duration selected by OLAP, and submit an opinion from his treating psychiatrist stating he is able to return the professional practice of law.”
Portsmouth Attorney Tracy Hoover was suspended from practicing law by the Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday morning, nearly 2 1/2 years after several felony charges and a single misdemeanor count was filed against him.
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