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Keyword: conahan

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  • Conahan might testify against fellow ex-judge (Kids for Cash judges)

    10/28/2010 9:06:08 PM PDT · by Born Conservative · 8 replies
    Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre PA) ^ | 10/28/2010 | Terrie Morgan-Besecker
    SCRANTON – Former Luzerne County Judge Michael Conahan is willing to testify at the corruption trial of his one-time co-defendant, Mark Ciavarella – a decision federal law experts say could help reduce the potentially lengthy sentence Conahan is facing for his role in the scheme. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Zubrod identified Conahan as a “potential” witness during a pre-trial conference held before U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik on Aug. 5, according to a transcript of the proceeding. The transcript, publicly filed on Friday, also reveals that one of Ciavarella’s attorneys, William Ruzzo, has asked the court to pay his legal...
  • Group of 20 argues against immunity for Ciavarella, Conahan (Kids for Cash judges)

    09/23/2009 6:35:30 AM PDT · by Born Conservative · 6 replies · 544+ views
    Citizens Voice (Wilkes-Barre, PA) ^ | 9/23/09 | Dave Janoski
    In a legal brief filed Tuesday, 20 legal scholars and former judges argued that granting former Luzerne County judges Michael T. Conahan and Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. judicial immunity from civil suits in the kids-for-cash scandal would make a "mockery" of a legal doctrine designed to protect judicial independence and integrity. Ciavarella and Conahan, accused of accepting $2.8 million in kickbacks for sending juveniles to two for-profit detention centers, have claimed judicial immunity in civil-rights suits filed by hundreds of those juveniles in U.S. District Court. The former judges claim they cannot be held liable because the legal doctrine of...
  • Feds fear ex-judges hiding their assets (Kids for Cash case)

    09/16/2009 6:46:34 AM PDT · by Born Conservative · 5 replies · 324+ views
    Citizens Voice (Wilkes Barre PA) ^ | 9/16/09 | Dave Janoski and Michael R. Sisak
    SCRANTON - Federal prosecutors fear former Luzerne County judges Michael T. Conahan and Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. have tried to hide some of their assets to protect them from forfeiture in the racketeering case against them. Prosecutors unsuccessfully sought new bail conditions - including the posting of a $500,000 bond and a requirement that the judges wear electronic monitors - when Conahan and Ciavarella appeared in U.S. District Court to plead not guilty to a 48-count indictment Tuesday. Read the indictment When they pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy in February for allegedly taking $2.8 million in kickbacks, the judges...
  • Ex-judges hit with 48 counts (Kids for Cash judges - 48 felonies)

    09/10/2009 5:42:17 AM PDT · by Born Conservative · 5 replies · 499+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre PA) ^ | 9/10/09 | Terrie Morgan-Besecker
    HARRISBURG – A federal grand jury filed a 48-count indictment Wednesday against Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, charging the former Luzerne County judges with racketeering, extortion, bribery, money laundering, fraud and tax violations. The indictment, issued by a grand jury in Dauphin County, alleges Conahan and Ciavarella received millions of dollars in illegal payments in connection with improper actions they took to facilitate the construction and operation of the PA and Western PA Child Care juvenile detention centers, according to a press release issued by U.S. Attorney Dennis Pfannenschmidt. In addition to the charges, prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of at...
  • Conahan and Ciavarella indicted by federal grand jury (Kids for Cash judges)

    09/09/2009 6:06:09 PM PDT · by Born Conservative · 6 replies · 475+ views
    HARRISBURG - A federal grand jury has issued an indictment against fomer judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, charging them with racketeering and related charges in connection with alleged improper actions to facilitate the construction and operation of juvenile detention facilities owned by Pa and Western Pa child care. The indictment alleges Conahan and Ciavarella engaged in racketeering, fraud, money laundering, extortion, bribery and federal tax violations and that they received millions of dollars in illegal payments, according to a news release. Along with the criminal charges, the indictment seeks the forfeiture of at least $2,819,500 which is alleged to...
  • George Banks will get new competency hearing (mass murderer;Kids for Cash judge overturned)

    08/29/2009 2:37:01 AM PDT · by Born Conservative · 4 replies · 451+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes Barre PA) ^ | 8/29/09 | Andrew Seder
    HARRISBURG – The competency of convicted mass murderer George Banks will once again be in the hands of a Luzerne County judge, but not the one who’s now twice had his rulings overturned by the Supreme Court. The state Supreme Court has ordered a new competency hearing for Banks, 67, convicted of fatally shooting 13 people, including five of his own children, in Wilkes-Barre and Jenkins Township on Sept. 25, 1982. He was last scheduled to be executed in December 2004, but a stay was granted after his attorneys filed a motion arguing he was too mentally ill to understand...
  • Ex-Luzerne judges withdraw guilty pleas (Kids for Cash judges)

    08/26/2009 7:51:53 AM PDT · by Born Conservative · 3 replies · 369+ views
    The Times-Tribune (Scranton PA) ^ | 8/25/09 | Dave Janoski
    WILKES-BARRE - In the eyes of the federal courts, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan became innocent men Monday afternoon. Just hours after a federal judge refused to reconsider his rejection of the plea agreements that Mr. Ciavarella and Mr. Conahan struck with prosecutors, the two former Luzerne County judges withdrew their guilty pleas to conspiracy and fraud. The move sets the kids-for-cash case back to square one and could lead to a high-stakes corruption trial on charges that the judges conspired to aid two for-profit juvenile detention centers in return for $2.6 million in kickbacks. The plea...
  • Federal judge rejects Conahan, Ciavarella plea agreements ("Kids for Cash")

    07/31/2009 3:17:37 PM PDT · by Born Conservative · 1 replies · 334+ views
    EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was posted at 4:39 p.m. Read more Luzerne County Judges articles Related Document read the judge's ruling SCRANTON - A federal judge rejected the plea agreement of former Luzerne County Judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan. Senior U.S. Judge Edwin Kosik issued an order today critical of comments and conduct of the two men after they entered their guilty pleas earlier this year to serve 87 months in prison. Kosik noted the presentence report for Conahan said he "refused to discuss the motivation behind his conduct, attempted to obstruct and impede justice and failed...
  • Defiant Ciavarella denies he took "bribes" in corruption case (Kids for Cash felon ex-judge)

    07/02/2009 12:53:57 PM PDT · by Born Conservative · 2 replies · 377+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes Barre, PA) ^ | 7/2/09 | Terrie Morgan-Besecker
    ALLENTOWN - Former Luzerne County judge Mark Ciavarella said he agreed to testify at a hearing regarding whether a defamation verdict he entered in favor of Thomas Joseph should be overturned because he wanted to set the record state that he did nothing wrong in the case. “I didn’t do anything wrong. I never had anyone influence me in the case, so I thought it was appropriate I do so,” a defiant Ciavarella said in a brief interview following his testimony. The disgraced judge is awaiting sentencing on charges he and former judge Michael Conahan accepted more than $2.6 million...
  • State denies pensions to disgraced former Luzerne County judges

    06/16/2009 11:08:06 AM PDT · by Born Conservative · 6 replies · 334+ views
    The Times-Tribune (Scranton PA) ^ | 6/16/09 | Dave Janoski
    The state has denied pension benefits to two former Luzerne County judges who took kickbacks from a juvenile-detention provider and is seeking repayment of $4.3 million the judges' kids-for-cash scheme allegedly cost state taxpayers. Reversing its earlier position Michael T. Conahan and Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. are eligible to receive benefits until they are sentenced, the State Employees' Retirement System ruled the former judges' guilty pleas to fraud and conspiracy in February provided sufficient grounds to deny them benefits. In a letter to two state lawmakers who proposed bills to immediately rescind pension benefits when a judge or other state...
  • Powell wore a wire in judges meetings, feds say (Kids For Cash/felon ex-judges)

    06/12/2009 5:52:31 AM PDT · by Born Conservative · 5 replies · 422+ views
    The Times-Tribune (Scranton PA) ^ | 6/11/09 | Dave Janoski
    WILKES-BARRE - Attorney Robert J. Powell came wired to his meetings with two judges who demanded kickbacks for helping his juvenile detention centers flourish, recording "incriminating conversations" that were "instrumental" in bringing the judges to justice, federal prosecutors say in a legal document obtained Wednesday by Times-Shamrock Newspapers. That cooperation could earn Mr. Powell, who has agreed to plead guilty to acting as an accessory to the Luzerne County judges, a shorter prison sentence than the 21 to 27 months he would normally face under federal sentencing guidelines. The legal document, prepared by federal prosecutors with input from Mr. Powell's...
  • Fed document backs Powell’s claim (corrupt felon judges/Kids for Cash)

    06/11/2009 4:52:50 AM PDT · by Born Conservative · 4 replies · 701+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes Barre, PA) ^ | 6/11/2009 | Terrie Morgan-Besecker
    SCRANTON – Attorney Robert Powell thought he had a great business idea when he approached two Luzerne County judges in 2001 about building a new juvenile detention center. The county-run facility was deteriorating, and judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella quickly agreed to support Powell’s plan for the Pa. Child Care juvenile center in Pittston Township. What Powell didn’t know, federal prosecutors now say, was that Ciavarella and Conahan would demand to be paid for that assistance. They would collect more than $2.6 million over five years before the scheme was uncovered. The depth of the judges’ involvement and the...
  • Defendants in kids-for-cash scandal want records protected

    06/04/2009 1:37:54 AM PDT · by Born Conservative · 335+ views
    Citizens Voice (Wilkes-Barre PA) ^ | 6/4/09 | Dave Janoski
    Attorneys for individuals and companies being sued by hundreds of juveniles jailed in the Luzerne County kids-for-cash scandal are seeking a court order to preserve records the attorneys fear could be destroyed as part of a court-ordered review of thousands of juvenile cases handled by disgraced former judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. More than 350 juveniles and parents are seeking damages from Ciavarella and other defendants in three civil rights suits filed in U.S. District Court in Scranton. A Berks County judge is in the process of reviewing, and possibly expunging, the records of juveniles sentenced by Ciavarella, who faces...
  • Sources: Tipstaff is served (same county as felon juvie judges)

    06/04/2009 1:34:43 AM PDT · by Born Conservative · 288+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes Barre, PA) ^ | 6/4/09 | Terrie Morgan-Besecker
    WILKES-BARRE – The tipstaff for Luzerne County Judge Michael Toole was served a subpoena by the federal agents investigating corruption within the county, two sources familiar with the investigation said Wednesday. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tom Marino was served the subpoena at the courthouse on Monday. The sources did not know what information is being sought or to which investigation the subpoena is related. Contacted at the courthouse on Wednesday, Marino declined to comment on whether he had been subpoenaed. “I’m not saying it did happen. I’m not saying it didn’t happen,” Marino said during...
  • Sentencing date for former judges delayed (Felon juvie court judges)

    06/03/2009 12:04:30 PM PDT · by Born Conservative · 3 replies · 249+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre PA) ^ | 6/3/2009 | Terrie Morgan-Besecker
    Reports probing Conahan and Ciavarella still not in, meaning late June, July the likely date. WILKES-BARRE – It appears it will be at least another month before former judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella are sentenced on corruption charges. It was initially estimated that the judges, who pleaded guilty on Feb. 12, would be sentenced in April or May. But a delay in the completion of pre-sentence investigation reports by the U.S. Probation Department has pushed that date back, said Ciavarella’s attorney, Al Flora Jr. Flora said defense attorneys received the pre-sentence report on May 6. The defense is normally...
  • Kids-for-cash scandal draws attention of filmmaker Moore

    04/26/2009 7:11:27 PM PDT · by Born Conservative · 11 replies · 1,125+ views
    The Times Tribune (Scranton PA) ^ | 4/26/09 | DAVE JANOSKI
    WILKES-BARRE — A production crew working with filmmaker Michael Moore was in Luzerne County last week interviewing figures in the kids-for-cash scandal. Mr. Moore, famous for documentaries such as “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11” was not present during the filming, according to two sources familiar with the project who spoke on condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements signed by those interviewed. Mr. Moore did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday. Among those interviewed, according to the sources, were juveniles sentenced by former county judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. Mr. Ciavarella faces 87 months in prison...
  • Juvenile records to be erased (decision by PA Supreme court)

    03/27/2009 7:44:01 AM PDT · by Born Conservative · 17 replies · 1,060+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre PA) ^ | 3/27/09 | Jennifer Learn-Andes
    The state Supreme Court on Thursday approved a judge’s recommendation that would erase the criminal records of all juveniles charged with certain minor offenses who appeared before Judge Mark Ciavarella over a five-year period. The recommendation came from Senior Judge Arthur Grim, who was appointed as a master by the Supreme Court on Feb. 11 to review cases that were heard by Ciavarella. Ciavarella is awaiting sentencing on a guilty plea for accepting kickbacks in exchange for decisions and rulings that led to use of two privately owned juvenile detention centers. Ciavarella’s attorney, Al Flora, declined comment. Thursday’s decision covered...
  • Judge orders expungement of juvenile court records [Luzerne Co. PA]

    03/26/2009 4:29:58 PM PDT · by smokingfrog · 5 replies · 932+ views ^ | March 26, 2009 | MICHAEL R. SISAK
    The state Supreme Court will expunge a number of juvenile cases handled by disgraced Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., following a recommendation from Judge Arthur Grim, the Berks County jurist appointed to review the cases. Grim filed an Interim Report last Friday proposing procedures to identify Luzerne County juvenile cases where he believed the adjudications should be vacated and expunged. * Read the state Supreme Court order * View stories, documents and videos related to the court corruption probe The state Supreme Court said it would allow Grim to "grant such relief as expeditiously as possible" with two...
  • Ciavarella off bench Monday (admitted felon ex-judge finally quits)

    03/14/2009 6:39:05 AM PDT · by Born Conservative · 7 replies · 586+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre PA) ^ | 3/14/09 | Andrew M. Seder
    In a terse one-sentence letter dated Thursday, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. informed Gov. Ed Rendell that effective the close of business Monday, he would no longer be a Luzerne County judge. The announcement brings the former president judge another step closer to the end game, likely 87 months in a federal prison. Ciavarella could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Al Flora Jr., declined to comment on the motive behind the letter or Monday’s target date. “The letter speaks for itself,” Flora said. Ciavarella, of Kingston, pleaded guilty to accepting $2.6 million in kickbacks related to juvenile detention center...
  • Associate claims D’Elia, Conahan link (Alleged Mafioso and felon ex-judge)

    02/27/2009 3:14:01 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 379+ views
    The Times Tribune (Scranton PA) ^ | 2/27/09 | Dave Janoski
    WILKES-BARRE — Former Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Conahan met William “Big Billy” D’Elia for breakfast twice a month to discuss pending cases and once assured the mob boss of a “positive outcome” in a defamation suit filed by one of his friends, a D’Elia associate claims in a document to be filed today in state Supreme Court. The friend was later awarded $3.5 million by a judge who is former Judge Conahan’s co-defendant in a corruption case. D’Elia associate Robert J. Kulick alleges he and Mr. D’Elia met with former Judge Conahan twice monthly for eight years in...