3rd Pa. Judge on Hot Seat; Will Juvenile Convictions Be Reversed?
Posted Mar 13, 2009 4:02 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
In the latest developments in an expanding scandal over corruption in the Luzerne County, Pa., court system, a third judge there is now on the hot seat.
Relying on unnamed sources, the Legal Intelligencer reports that the judge is being investigated over an allegation that he may have received a payment from a lawyer.
This news follows guilty pleas involving federal prison terms last month by two seasoned Luzerne judges who accepted $2.6 million in kickbacks for jailing juveniles.
Meanwhile, a senior state-court judge from another county turned in recommendations today about how a number of juvenile cases handled by the two convicted judges should now be dealt with. It is possible that a number of juvenile convictions could be reversed and records expunged as a result, although it isn't yet known what he recommended, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In an earlier article, the Inquirer tells the story of one teen who is still serving time in a juvenile center for purchasing from a relative a scooter that turned out to have been stolen.
Although he had never been in trouble before and there is little evidence that he committed any crime, his nearly three-year juvenile system odyssey continues, the newspaper recounts. His father, who can ill-afford an extra bill, is being charged for the cost of the teen's care in state custody and has himself reportedly been threatened with jail for getting behind on the payments.
ABAJournal.com: "2 Pa. Judges, 2 Lawyers and Others Sued in $2.6M Jail-for-Pay Case"