Former Judge Ann H. Lokuta stood Tuesday in front of the same state disciplinary panel that removed her from the Luzerne County bench last year, imploring them to reconsider.
She reminded the seven-member Court of Judicial Discipline of the corruption scandal that broke a month after its ruling - the scandal underscored by a 48-count racketeering indictment against two former judges who testified against her.
She told them of the personal hardship of going a year without income, without benefits, and without the one thing she said she cherished more than anything else - putting on the judicial robe and hearing cases.
Near the end of her soliloquy, she pointed to an inscription on a courtroom partition and asked for forgiveness. "You look down here and you see mercy, you see wisdom and you see justice," Lokuta said. "Isn't that the purpose of any sanction, rehabilitation?"
She may have convinced them.
The panel deliberated Lokuta's reinstatement behind closed doors for 15 minutes before its president judge emeritus, Richard A. Sprague, returned alone and announced that the court would adjourn and issue a written opinion.
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