Mar 29, 2009

Corrupt judges took money to lock up juveniles

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned hundreds of juvenile convictions issued by Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella from 2003 to 2008.


In one of the most egregious cases of judicial corruption ever seen, federal prosecutors charged Ciavarella (left photo) and another Luzerne County judge, Michael Conahan (shown on right), with taking $2.6 million in payoffs to put juvenile offenders in privately owned lockups.

The judges pleaded guilty to fraud last month and face sentences of more than seven years in prison.

Ciavarella, who presided over juvenile court, sent youths to the detention center and to a sister facility in western Pennsylvania while he was taking payments, prosecutors said.