Legal Ethics

Judge Partially Convicted in Kids-for-Cash Case Seeks Acquittal or New Trial

Convicted by a federal jury in Scranton of 12 of the 39 counts that he faced in a bribery case, a former president judge of Luzerne County is now trying for zero.

Mark Ciavarella is seeking to negate the remaining convictions, asking for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, a new trial, according to the Times Leader and the Times Tribune.

On some counts, he is arguing that the statute of limitations had expired.

Meanwhile, Luzerne County is targeted in civil litigation over the juveniles that Ciavarella and another defendant were accused of jailing, on flimsy grounds, while benefiting financially from sending the youths to the private facility. County officials say they had no idea of Ciavarella’s alleged activities, the Citizens Voice reports.

The county is moving to dismiss the suit, contending it is based “entirely on innuendo and conjecture.”

Additional coverage: “Reports: Convicted Judge Proclaims Victory, Turns His Back on Mom Blaming Him for Her Son’s Suicide”

Miami Herald (opinion): “Commentary: Ciavarella gave kids to for-profit prison”

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