Saturday, January 02, 2010

Man of the Year

Martin Carlson

The former United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania was recently honored as "Government Lawyer of the Year" by the Pennsylvania Bar Association. His leadership of investigators from the FBI, IRS and other government agencies resulted in blowing the lid off of many of the criminal practices that have been normal in Luzerne County for as long as I can remember such as job selling and kickbacks for contracts. That is a set of crimes that would have not been possible to bring to light without the uncovering of the Juvie Brothers scheme of selling kids up the river. He is a career prosecutor who has been promoted to U.S. magistrate judge in Harrisburg, Pa and was succeeded in the office by Dennis Pfannenschmidt
who has continued the investigation. Mr Pfannenschmidt will be busy in 2010.

The Times-Leader named Luzerne County President Judge Chet Muroski Person of the Year. I can agree that Muroski has done many things to try to clean up this mess and restore trust in the courts but I can't get by the question of why it took so long. Talk of something being remiss in the courts has been out there for a long time. So far 3 judges have gone down with the rumor that a 4th will soon be charged. Let me ask you this, if you had a criminal or legal matter pending would you want your case heard in a Luzerne County Court?

The Newsmakers of the Year were the Juvie Brothers. Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella
got the attention of Michael Moore, the New York Times, the BBC, the CBS Evening News, ABC's 20/20 and even the TV drama "Law and Order."

Stephen Colbert complimented the Judges on their privatization efforts.

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This also made TPM's Golden Duke awards.

Best Scandal -- Local Venue

Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan not only took kick-backs for sending kids to a private juvenile prison facility where the state or local communities had to pay top dollar to house young delinquents but they sent kids to jail for the pettiest of offenses, good kids who had made minor mistakes, kids who had no business being sent to prison. A few examples make the point: as in their sentencing a 17-year-old for five months because he helped a friend shop lift a DVD from a Wal-Mart; sending a 15-year-old off for three months in their co-conspirators' juvenile camp for mocking a school official on a MySpace page; sentencing a 13-year-old weekend confinement for trespassing in a vacant building - the list is long but you get the gist. These two judges earned not less that $2.6 million running this kickback racket while ruining young lives for their own illicit gain before they were caught red-handed. For me, this local scandal pales all others nominees.


Anonymous said...

Any hint on the 4th

Anonymous said...

When are they going to get the second Juvie Brother? I've heard he rolled on Mericle who on the second visit from the feds rolled on Powell who then wore the wire to get the judges. And that is why he's not being charged. I know the feds need to get the big fish, but he is so dirty and a tool of the system.

Anonymous said...

Juvie Brother or bond brother

Big Dan said...

I'd say the Men of the Year are the Juvie Bros. Man of the Year doesn't have to be a good guy. I believe Hitler was the Man of the Year one time. Know what I mean?

Anonymous said...

We keep hearing on WILK 2 more judges who can they be

Anonymous said...

They should give those judges (animals) the same they gave the overly harsh sentence.

Life in prison. Add up the total amount of years they unfairly sent kids to juvie, and give them that!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the hint

Anonymous said...

Trouble is, more nit-wits are entering the fray, aren't they Mr. Cooney?

Anonymous said...

The judges certainly did a bad thing but the media and WILK hype are almost as bad. The facts are bad enough so they don't need the embellishments.

Here are the facts .... The judges got paid for closing the county detention center but not for sending kids away. The truth is that kids are not sentenced to a period of time in detention. They are evaluated and then sent to treatment facilities all over the country, each according to personal need. The reason a kid is sent to court is not always the reason for the sentence. The evaluation of each kid might very well indicate a deeper and bigger problem than the reason that got them there. If the psychologist feels that treatment is needed, off they go for treatment. It is not a period of time because each child receives a professional evaluation every 30 days and that evaluation determines if continued treatment is necessary or they are sent home. These are the facts but lets allow the know it alls to spew their version of the truth because those stories make it sound better or worse as the case may be. The judges deserve a good kick in the balls but kick them for the reason they deserve, not the one that sounds best. Keep in mind that for these kids to get that far, they were charged by the police, the school district or their own parents. Some of them are there for assault, arson, rape and other serious "adult" crimes. OK, now let the stone throwing begin.