Sunday, July 25, 2010

Former Judge Michael Conahan Pleads Guilty

A former judge in northeastern Pennsylvania pleaded guilty Friday to a racketeering conspiracy charge for his role in a kickback scheme that put juvenile defendants, many without lawyers, behind bars for sometimes minor offenses.

Michael Conahan, 58, faces up to 20 years in prison after his plea in Scranton federal court. No sentencing date was set.

Court documents do not indicate if Conahan will testify against the other former Luzerne County judge charged in the case, Mark Ciavarella Jr. Conahan's lawyer, Philip Gelso, declined to comment Friday.

Ciavarella has maintained his innocence and plans to go to trial.

Prosecutors accuse the pair of taking $2.8 million in kickbacks from two private detention facilities. Conahan, as president judge, shut down a county-owned juvenile center while Ciavarella, the juvenile court judge, filled beds at the for-profit facilities, they charged.

Full Article and Source:
Ex-Pa. Judge Pleads Guilty in Kids-for-Cash Scheme


  1. This is just the tip of the iceberg. And it ain't just PA!

    Hang 'em high!

    Cut off their -- law licenses!

  2. According to the full article, "The indictment was part of a sweeping federal probe of corruption in Luzerne County that has so far ensnared more than two dozen people, including a school superintendent and a court administrator."

    Something is obviously very wrong if the corruption could go on long enough for more than two dozen people to become involved.

    What is wrong is that evidence of such corruption is ignored by too many who are responsible for catching it. In my own experience, that includes prosecutors and appellate court judges, including U.S. Supreme justices.

    In order to discourage such corruption, we need to make our court system much more transparent. With that in mind, please join me in advocating the court reporting system reform which is described online at

  3. i'm in a very bad mood today I say bring back the old west justice, hang him and his pals from the nearest oak tree and throw the waste in a big hole which would save taxpayer money and make a strong statement get rid of the crooks in our court system and bury their stench deep oh this is a thimble full of what is going on coast to coast and now i am in a worse mood sick of reading about these crooks who sit at their thrones handing down INjustice's to fill their pockets God is watching

  4. Thanks Tim for the information

    This should also allow the disabled records for free since under the ADA they should have access to the courts.

    Where can people research cases in a particular court under particular judges.

    It's time to stop the abuse in the courts

    My aunt lives in this county and said it is really bad there.

  5. Thanks, Conahan, for admitting it and saving the taxpayers some money.

  6. Bye bye Judge Conahan!

  7. The corruption is probably much deeper than the over 2 doz people charged, tvfields.

  8. Goodie. It gives us some hope that things might change if the pressure is kept up and the bright light of focus never goes off.

  9. To steal part of someone's life all for greed.. how sad. This is currently happening in guardianship cases as well. Vulnerable seniors are issolated from their families and medicated by guardians while their estates are plundered.
    How tragic.

  10. The CORRUPTION is just as bad in Carbon County, their tiny county neighbor to the south. there should be a federal investigation in every county, and the Honorable Judges should be required to be transparent - income, assets, holdings, affiliations, etc. Wil we ever see it ?