Former Luzerne County judge Ann Lokuta finally accepted defeat [10/3/11] when the U.S. Supreme Court denied her a hearing on a petition to overturn her removal from the county bench.
“We had some favorable issues, but it’s a distant reach,” Lokuta said of her request for a hearing before the high court, which included her petition among hundreds it refused to consider in an order issued this morning.
“But I had to do it because I never did the things they said I did,” Lokuta said.
The state Court of Judicial Discipline removed Lokuta from the bench in 2008, finding she mistreated attorneys and court staffers and handed down a decision in favor of a family that had supported her politically.
Lokuta maintained the case against her was orchestrated by former county president judge Michael T. Conahan, who is now serving a 17½-year racketeering conspiracy sentence after pleading guilty to accepting $2.8 million in kickbacks for placing juveniles in two for-profit detention centers.
Lokuta said Conahan wanted to punish her because she gave information to federal agents investigating the kids-for-cash case. He was a witness at her trial.
“I’m glad I was an informant. I paid the price for that,” said Lokuta, who lost her pension rights and is barred from seeking judicial office. “This a major part of my life that has ended.”
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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Lokuta a Hearing