Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Supreme Court Denies Former Judge Ann Lokuta a Hearing

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.”

Full Article and Source:
U.S. Supreme Court Denies Lokuta a Hearing


Finny said...

I am sorry for that. She got screwed. I hope she turns this negative experience into a positive experience and becomes an advocate for judicial reform.

Anonymous said...

What is that saying? Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely?
Too bad Lokuta didn't get any respect from the higher court, because they're supposed to know - and respect - that lawyers and judges are required to rat each other out.
See the prior article about reporting.

Betty said...

She's right, she paid the ultimate price. But, because she did, she will sleep soundly.

Anonymous said...

Judge Lokuta may have been the only honest judge in northeastern PA.

Judge Conahan, and many, many others were (are) involved in numerous schemes, not just kids for cash. Ms. Lokuta may be a wealth of knowledge now that her appeal is done. Paybacks are hell.