Former judge wants $1.5M after felony convictions overturned

TACOMA, Wash. — A former Pierce County judge is seeking $1.5 million in compensation after his convictions were overturned on appeal.

A lawyer told The News Tribune he filed a complaint for restitution and restoration in Pierce County Superior Court for Michael Hecht late last month.

An appeals court rule states that certain people whose cases are overturned on appeal can request that the trial court approve restoration or restitution.

The state attorney general's office is reviewing the case.

Hecht was convicted by a jury in 2009 of patronizing a prostitution and felony harassment.

Hecht maintained his innocence throughout the legal proceedings against him and argued the prosecution was part of a political vendetta by a judge he unseated.

Hecht fulfilled all the terms of his sentence, but in 2014 the Washington Appeals Court overturned his convictions, saying he didn't receive a fair trial.

His attorney is seeking reimbursement of legal fees and fines, plus restitution including compensation for lost salary.