Luzerne County Judges Thomas Burke and Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. are up for retention to the Court of Common Pleas this year and they are feeling the heat of the fallout of the Juvie Brothers scandal that may result in them losing the yes/no vote. That has never happened to a sitting judge in this county in my memory.
A few days ago I asked how does everybody know what was going on in Lokuta's courtroom but nobody knew what was going on in Ciavarella's?
His response is in the CV today:
Not only were the vast majority of Judge Ciavarella's juvenile court proceedings closed to the public, they were conducted at Penn Place, located approximately ½ mile away from my courtroom in the Luzerne County Courthouse. Furthermore, during my 10 years on the bench, not a single parent, prosecutor, police officer, probation official or judge ever complained to me that Judge Ciavarella routinely denied juveniles their right to counsel. Nor did I know that he accepted "finder's fees" or sentenced juveniles illegally.
PPO-2 has been beat up in the local press and talk radio the last few days over that frat boy picture with Conahan and Ron Bellitiere that was anonymously provided to the local papers. Fair or not a picture is worth a thousand words.
Knowing that he is in trouble Olszewski is now in full campaign mode with a website up and filed a finance report with the PA Department of State indicating that he is raising money.
The website is:
The hompage lists 10 reasons to vote yes including a bunch of awards that he won and winning death penalty convictions when he was District Attorney that more than likely will never be carried out. Overall I think that PPO-2 was a pretty good DA especially when you compare his record to his incompetent successor.
There is not much on the campaign finance report yet and it includes a couple of errors such as listing his party as Republican and listing the office he is seeking as being in the 14th Judicial District (Fayette County).
I have always resisted the guilt by association argument. Heaven knows I've had my picture taken with some unsavory characters over the years. How much this hurts his chances remains to be seen. I always vote no on these questions no matter what is going on but I'm just a contrarian bastard.