SCRANTON – Luzerne County Judge Michael Toole’s tipstaff Tom Marino testified for more than 1 hour Tuesday before a federal grand jury investigating corruption within the county.
He was issued a subpoena on June 1. The Feds are looking into money Participant 1 Robert Powell paid to Toole. Zen says it was $82,000 for his services for refusing to rule on subpoenas issued by then Controller Steve Flood when he was looking into the county contract with PA Child Care in 2005 then owned by Powell and Greg Zappala. Toole could have ruled against the subpoenas, but that would have given Flood a chance to appeal to get the subpoenas enforced. Toole was also a guest at the Juvie Brothers Florida condo least once and also ruled on a dispute involving Robert Powell's yacht.
Prosecutors say Powell knew that Conahan and Ciavarella were committing a crime when they accepted the kickbacks from Powell and local developer Participant 2 Robert Mericle, but failed to report it. He also helped the judges disguise the source of the money he and Mericle paid.
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