Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella gave an interview to the UK newspaper the Guardian and claimed the bribes he got from PA Child Care owner Robert Powell and builder of the facility Robert Mericle were "finder's fee" from the private company for help in building the detention centre. He denies sending children to custody in return for kickbacks. "Cash for kids? It never happened. People have jumped to conclusions - I didn't do any of these things." That's a creative use of language. It sounds like a meter was keeping track of the kids he locked up and putting a cash value on them. Not to mention that Judges are not supposed to be in the business of helping anyone build anything financed by the taxpayers.
This thing is calling into question many cases that Ciavarella or Judge Michael Conahan have ever presided over. A reasonable question to ask if they were taking bribes to lock up kids what else was for sale? Conahan vacated a jury verdict in the case of a Tunkhannock physician that found in his favor and awarded the plaintiff $1 million. I didn't know that a Judge could reverse a jury. The Citizen Voice is contending that a $3.5 million defamation verdict issued by suspended Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. in June 2006 against The Scranton Times L.P., a related company called The Times Partner and former Citizens’ Voice reporter Edward Lewis was fixed. I have other examples but you get the idea.
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