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Ky. disability lawyer denies disability fraud allegations

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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) -

An eastern Kentucky disability lawyer is denying accusations that he collaborated with a former West Virginia judge to improperly award disability benefits.

The Appalachian News-Express reports attorney Eric C. Conn denied wrongdoing in a statement sent out by his law office, which is located in Stanville near the West Virginia border.

The accusations against him were in a report released Monday by congressional investigators. It accused him of scheming with retired administrative law Judge David B. Daugherty in Huntington to approve more than 1,800 disability cases from 2006 to 2010.

"By 2011, Mr. Conn and Judge Daugherty had collaborated on a scheme that enabled the judge to approve, in assembly-line fashion, hundreds of clients for disability benefits using manufactured medical evidence," reads the report by the staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Conn declined to answer questions during a Senate hearing, asserting his constitutional right against self-incrimination. Daugherty left the hearing before being called to testify.

The statement from Conn details his long law career.

"I have practiced Social Security disability law for 20 years," he said. "I have advertised extensively and represented every claimant to the best of my ability. When changes in the law occurred, I studied those changes in an effort to better represent the people who put their faith in me. I have served my clients with honor and dignity.

"While I am not now at liberty, on the advice of counsel, to fully address all of the accusations against me, in due course, the truth will be forthcoming. For now, I request that public judgment be withheld until all the facts are known."

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