Free Republic 3rd Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $27,615
Woo hoo!! And the first 31% is in!! Thank you all very much!! God bless.

Keyword: conahan

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • 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...
  • Moran signs on to cooperate with feds (corrupt judge case continues)

    02/25/2009 5:26:56 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 2 replies · 358+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre PA) ^ | 2/25/09 | Terrie Morgan-Besecker
    SCRANTON – Luzerne County Prothonotary Jill Moran could potentially face criminal charges if she violates an agreement to cooperate with federal prosecutors investigating corruption in the county courthouse, according to a stipulation she and her attorneys signed on Monday. The agreement, known as a consent judgment, required Moran, 39, to resign as prothonotary and to fully cooperate in an investigation into alleged fraud. She submitted her letter of resignation, effective March 13, to Gov. Ed Rendell on Friday. According to a civil complaint filed Monday by U.S. Attorney Martin Carlson, Moran, a Hazleton area attorney, voluntarily informed prosecutors that people...
  • Suit links judges, D’Elia Fix alleged in $3.5M Citizens’ Voice defamation verdict

    02/20/2009 2:30:59 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 1 replies · 472+ views
    The Times-Tribune (Scranton PA) ^ | 2/20/2009 | Dave Janoski
    A witness will testify one or both of the disgraced Luzerne County judges who have pleaded guilty to accepting millions in kickbacks have “direct connections” to jailed mobster William “Big Billy” D’Elia, according to a petition filed Thursday in the state Supreme Court by lawyers for the owners of The Citizens’ Voice. The petition asks the court to vacate a $3.5 million defamation verdict issued by suspended Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. in June 2006 against the Scranton Times LP, a related company called the Times Partner and former Citizens’ Voice reporter Edward Lewis. After a nonjury trial, Judge Ciavarella...
  • Class action lawsuit filed against Ciavarella, Conahan, others (corrupt ex-judges)

    02/13/2009 8:31:10 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 15 replies · 843+ views
    WILKES-BARRE - The first of what may be several class action lawsuits filed in response to the alleged juvenile detention scandal was filed in federal court late Thursday. Two lawfirms - Cefalo & Associates of West Pittston and Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan & Conboy in Pittsburgh - filed the lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of children and their families who were impacted by Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan. Ciavarella, 58, and Conahan, 56, pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to conspiring to impede the Internal Revenue Service in the collection...
  • ‘GUILTY, your honor’ Luzerne judges admit $2.6M fraud, kickback scheme

    02/13/2009 3:02:33 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 26 replies · 1,605+ views
    The Times Tribune (Scranton PA) ^ | 2/13/2009 | Dave Janoski
    Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day Thursday. First came the fingerprints, then the mug shot, then the guilty plea to accepting $2.6 million in kickbacks with his fellow Luzerne County judge and co-defendant Michael T. Conahan. Still to come was a gantlet of news cameras and jeering, hooting citizens waiting outside the federal courthouse. “How do you think it would be?” said a haggard Judge Ciavarella, standing at the back of the courtroom. “It wasn’t fun.” Judges Ciavarella and Conahan, wearing dark gray suits and grim looks, sat through a recitation of the...
  • Ciavarella, Conahan emerge from courthouse (hostile crowd: "rot in hell")

    02/12/2009 12:09:01 PM PST · by Born Conservative · 12 replies · 1,813+ views
    SCRANTON - Yells of "rot in hell" and "I hope the Aryan Nation loves you in prison" were directed at Luzerne County judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan when they emerged from the federal courthouse in Scranton. Ciavarella and Conahan pleaded guilty to federal charges that they accepted more than $2.6 million in kickbacks in connection to the construction and operation of juvenile detention facilities. Both judges appeared with their respective attorneys inside the courtroom that was filled to capacity. A second courtroom was set up to accommodate the overflow crowd who watched the 45 minute proceeding that...
  • Limos, new suit part of $2.26M juvie costs eyed (Fed case against judges)

    02/12/2009 4:36:22 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 11 replies · 817+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre PA) ^ | 2/12/09 | Jennifer Learn-Andes
    The state has identified $2.26 million in questionable expenses at the western Pennsylvania juvenile detention center involved in Luzerne County’s public corruption investigation, according to a draft audit obtained Wednesday. Those expenses include limousine rides to the King of Prussia Mall and NCAA basketball tournament, a fishing trip on Butler Township attorney Robert Powell’s yacht and a $3,500 custom-made suit for former Hazleton Mayor Mike Marsicano, the audit said. The state Department of Public Welfare launched the audit to determine if Western Pa. Child Care’s costs were accurate and “reasonable” because those costs drive the amount of state reimbursement given...
  • State may compensate juveniles sentenced by judges in Luzerne

    02/04/2009 8:24:46 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 6 replies · 407+ views
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ | 2/4/09 | Tracie Mauriello
    HARRISBURG -- State lawmakers are seeking ways to compensate children sent to detention centers by a pair of Luzerne County judges charged with taking kickbacks for sending juvenile defendants to facilities in Luzerne and Butler counties. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Stewart Greenleaf said yesterday he would hold a hearing to find ways to help the children and their families. One option is to provide money from the crime victims compensation fund, said Mr. Greenleaf, R-Montgomery. The hearing, which has not yet been scheduled, is at the request of Republican Sens. Lisa Baker and John Gordner, whose districts include parts of...
  • FEDS CALL SHARKEY ON SCHEME (another one down in judicial corruption case)

    02/04/2009 6:21:34 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 3 replies · 485+ views
    Citizen's Voice (Wilkes-Barre, PA) ^ | 2/4/09 | Dave Janoski
    WILKES-BARRE — Luzerne County Court Administrator William T. Sharkey Sr., the highest-paid non-judicial employee in the county court system, has agreed to plead guilty to pocketing more than $70,000 seized in illegal gambling cases over 10 years, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. WILKES-BARRE — Luzerne County Court Administrator William T. Sharkey Sr., the highest-paid non-judicial employee in the county court system, has agreed to plead guilty to pocketing more than $70,000 seized in illegal gambling cases over 10 years, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. Sharkey is the third high-ranking court official snared in a wide-ranging, ongoing federal probe of the county court...
  • Pa. Supreme Court to review juvie cases (Fed case against judges)

    02/03/2009 7:11:46 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 14 replies · 684+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre PA) ^ | 2/3/09 | Terrie Morgan-Besecker
    WILKES-BARRE – The state Supreme Court has agreed to review juvenile cases prosecuted in Luzerne County to determine whether any youth were improperly sentenced to detention, Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille announced Monday. The court agreed to exercise its king’s bench powers – an extraordinary action reserved only for the cases that are of immediate public importance – to review cases that were brought before former Judge Mark Ciavarella, the county’s longtime juvenile court judge. The ruling comes one week after federal authorities charged Ciavarella and Judge Michael Conahan with accepting more than $2.6 million in kickbacks in exchange for...
  • Luzerne County Judges suspended by state Supreme Court

    01/29/2009 7:32:57 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 4 replies · 561+ views
    The Times-Tribune (Scranton PA) ^ | 1/29/09 | Dave Janoski
    WILKES-BARRE — Two Luzerne County judges facing 87 months in prison for allegedly taking $2.6 million in kickbacks were stripped of their judicial duties by the state Supreme Court on Wednesday. Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan are expected to plead guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges in federal court Feb. 12 and subsequently resign from the bench and bar. Judge Ciavarella, who stepped down as president judge Monday but remains on the bench, was suspended with pay from all judicial and administrative duties pending the outcome of his case. Common pleas judges were paid annual salaries of...
  • Dyller eyes potential lawsuits (Fed case against corrupt PA judges)

    01/28/2009 10:17:28 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 2 replies · 433+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre PA) ^ | 1/28/09 | TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER and STEVE MOCARSKY
    WILKES-BARRE – A local attorney who specializes in civil rights cases said he believes some of the juveniles who were incarcerated under juvenile Judge Mark Ciavarella’s tenure have a strong basis to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for emotional and financial harm. “I’m looking at this and see so many civil claims based on so many potential civil rights violations, it’s shocking,” said Barry Dyller of Wilkes-Barre. Dyller said the key issue is the propriety of Ciavarella’s decision to detain children at the PA Child Care juvenile detention center in Pittston Township that was formerly owned by Butler Township attorney...
  • Feds: Judges used system to enrich selves

    01/27/2009 6:28:02 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 22 replies · 1,728+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre PA) ^ | 1/27/09 | Terrie Morgan-Besecker
    Allegations are that Ciavarella, Conahan took $2.6M in kickbacks in exchange for judicial rulings regarding detention centers. SCRANTON – For more than a decade, Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan served on the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas, developing reputations as hard-working judges. On Monday, federal prosecutors revealed the longtime jurists were allegedly working equally hard behind the scenes on a far less noble endeavor – enriching themselves at the expense of the public and juveniles who appeared in Luzerne County Court. They did so in the form of kickbacks -- $2.6 million worth – that U.S. Attorney Martin Carlson...
  • U.S. Attorney: Ciavarella, Conahan agree to serve 87 months in prison (County Judges)

    01/26/2009 12:28:24 PM PST · by Born Conservative · 27 replies · 1,787+ views
    SCRANTON - Luzerne County judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan have agreed to plead guilty in connection to concealing $2.6 million from January 2003 to April 2007, and have agreed to serve 87 months - 7.25 years - in federal prison, Martin Carlson, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, said. Ciavarella and Conahan also agreed to resign as judges within 10 days of federal court approval of their plea agreements, Carlson said during a Monday afternoon news conference. Carlson called the acts, "A scheme to defraud the citizens of Luzerne County and the people of...
  • Update: Judges indicted in Luzerne corruption probe (Feds indict 2 PA county judges)

    01/26/2009 11:24:48 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 16 replies · 1,332+ views
    The Times-Tribune (Scranton PA) ^ | 1/26/09 | MICHAEL R. SISAK AND MICHAEL P. BUFFER
    Two Luzerne County judges were indicted this morning on charges relating to the operation of two juvenile detention centers. President Judge Mark A. Ciavarella, 58, and former President Judge Michael T. Conahan are accused of collecting more than $2 million from the construction, expansion and operation of juvenile detention facilities, and for placing juveniles in those facilities in Luzerne County and Western Pennsylvania. The indictment charges both judges with engaging in a scheme to defraud the public of their honest services and with conspiring to defraud the IRS. Ciavarella and Conahan have filed a plea agreement, signed by both judges....
  • Banks prosecutors take issue with ruling (defense lawyers authored opinion?)

    10/12/2008 6:18:46 PM PDT · by Born Conservative · 4 replies · 337+ views
    Times Leader (Wilkes Barre, PA) ^ | 10/11/08 | Terrie Morgan-Besecker
    WILKES-BARRE – Prosecutors who are appealing Luzerne County Senior Judge Michael T. Conahan’s ruling that deemed George Banks incompetent to be executed say the opinion the judge entered supporting his decision was actually authored by Banks’ defense attorneys. Conahan The judge’s “wholesale” adoption of the document submitted by the defense is one of two issues Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Buck cites in asking the state Supreme Court to overturn the decision. At issue is a document titled “determination of competency” that the defense submitted following a three-day competency hearing held in August at the state Correctional Institution at Graterford. Buck...